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Why groups want crash avoidance tech required on large trucks

Semis and large trucks were behind 4,300 deaths in 2016, according to federal data. This represents a 28 percent increase from 2009, and as a result, more and more groups are pushing for new federal safety guidelines. Truckers in Connecticut should know that many are especially determined to make crash avoidance systems a requirement on all heavy trucks. The National Transportation Safety Board has been recommending this since in the late 1990s.

The NTSB has criticized the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, however, for ignoring these recommendations. An article from The Kansas City Star brought attention to these criticisms and has prompted some Congressional members to see if Congress cannot take decisive action to improve large truck safety.

Crash avoidance systems can prevent over 70 percent of rear-end collisions and mitigate the damage done on those that do occur. This is according to those trucking companies that have implemented the technology. However, lobbying groups like the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association believe that companies should still have a choice in whether or not to implement it.

NHTSA has a written statement out saying that it is researching next-generation automatic emergency braking systems. Early systems were the subject of a previous study, already completed. It aims to complete its research in 18 to 24 months' time, after which it may come to some important decisions.

If crash avoidance systems become mandatory, there will still be the issue of truckers neglecting the regulation. Truckers sometimes ignore the hours-of-service regulation, for example, and wind up driving drowsy. When such negligent actions lead to truck accidents, victims may have grounds for a claim. It might be a good idea to hire a lawyer, though, because the trucking company may find a way to blame the crash on the victim. Lawyers may be able to handle all negotiations for a settlement.

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Mark H. Pearson, Attorney at Law
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