Lethal Spike in Deadly Truck Accidents Due to Lack of Collision-Avoidance Technology on Trucks
Motorists on today’s roads are more vulnerable than ever to being rammed by an 18-wheeler; and it’s only expected to get worse as freight shipments increase every year to meet a growing economy and online shopping-based culture. According to federal data, more than 4,300 individuals died in accidents involving trucks in 2016—an almost 30 percent increase over 2009. To put these numbers into perspective, this is the equivalent of “a 737 airliner crashing twice a month and killing everyone on board.”
Yet, in spite of numerous requests from the National Transportation Safety Board and many others for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to do more to prevent trucks from rear-ending other vehicles, only a minute percentage of trucks on the road today have collision-avoidance technology; largely because this technology still isn’t mandatory. Unfortunately, decades after sounding the alarm, the NHTSA has not published a proposed regulation to this effect.
Direct Correlation Between Already-Available Technology & Saved Lives
There is no question that many of the thousands of fatal accidents involving trucks could have been prevented—or at least mitigated—had these technologies already been in place. According to companies that have deployed the technology, these systems can prevent 7 out of 10 rear-end truck collisions. In other words, the types of accidents that are most devastating are also the easiest to prevent with this technology.
And the technology isn’t exactly groundbreaking: many new cars—soon all—already come equipped with automatic emergency braking and a number of additional high-tech safety features, such as forward collision warning systems. By 2022, this type of safety equipment is expected to become standard on all new passenger vehicles sold in the U.S.
NHTSA Shows No Sign of Requiring What’s Necessary
While the NHTSA reportedly went so far as to research automatic emergency braking technology systems, the research appears to simply be informative at this point. The agency has indicated that it expects to finish the “critical field operation testing” in about a year, and this will inform its decision on next steps. A number of safety advocates call this “paralysis by analysis,” and indicate that, instead of the agency committing so many of its resources to getting driverless cars onto the road, it should instead move forward with requiring technology that has already proven effective.
Florida Truck Accident Attorneys
The impact of being rear-ended by a truck can result in devastating consequences. These types of accidents frequently lead to catastrophic injuries and sometimes even wrongful death. If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact Douglas & Douglas, Attorneys at Law in Jacksonville today to find out how we can help you get back on your feet.