Safety advocates: large trucks should have crash avoidance tech

Many drivers in New York already know the benefits of crash avoidance systems. Though these systems have been incorporated into only a small percentage of commercial truck fleets, the companies that incorporated them say that they can prevent more than seven out of 10 rear-end collisions. The technology is also known to mitigate the severity of injuries and vehicle damage.

Since the 1990s, the National Transportation Safety Board has been recommending the mandatory use of forward crash avoidance and mitigation systems on all commercial trucks. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reportedly not responded with any regulations along those lines. This has led to criticism from the NTSB and other groups.

According to federal data, there were more than 4,300 large truck crash fatalities in 2016. This was a 28 percent increase from 2009. In light of this trend, safety advocates are pushing for the NHTSA to act. Several members of Congress who have read the article are also considering decisive action.

The NHTSA has issued a written statement saying that it wrapped up research on early automatic emergency braking systems and that it will now study next-generation editions of the technology. It expects the study to be completed in 18 to 24 months, after which it could make an informed decision whether to mandate or not.

In some cases, a trucker with a crash avoidance system can choose to turn it off. If they do so and cause an auto accident through their own negligence, their trucking company could be held liable. However, a victim may want legal assistance as a lawyer could negotiate for a settlement while sidestepping the aggressive tactics that trucking companies use to deny payment.

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