Young & McCarthy LLP

Groups push for more safety tech as truck crash fatalities rise

In 2017, a total of 4,102 people died in large truck crashes across the U.S. That was a 28 percent jump from 2009. Truck safety groups like Road Safe America and the Truck Safety Coalition are pushing for a federal law mandating that all heavy trucks be equipped with forward collision warning and mitigation systems. These can prevent thousands of rear-end accidents, which are prevalent in Ohio.

The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended the same thing to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration on at least 10 occasions since the 1990s. The NHTSA has not responded with its own proposed regulation. Critics say that the NHTSA is culpable for this failure.

For its part, the NHTSA says that it is still studying the technology behind forward collision warning systems. It is also testing next-generation automatic emergency braking. Critics counter that the NHTSA should be focusing on technology that's already available and already proven to save lives.

Some members of Congress are also pushing for the mandate, saying that safety concerns should not be left to market forces. Experts say that all new passenger vehicles will be equipped with AEB and forward collision warning technology by 2022, yet the trucking industry is clearly lagging behind these advancements.

This is problematic since trucks, due to the growing economy and increasing reliance on online shopping, will only be shipping more and more freight on America's roads as the years go by. However, truck accident law does not change. Under these laws, victims of negligence may seek to be reimbursed for their financial losses. However, filing a claim can be difficult to do alone. Therefore, a victim may want to start by seeing a lawyer for a case evaluation.

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