Large truck accidents are a growing concern for drivers in North Carolina and across the country. However, as the risk of these accidents continues to increase, many people are calling for greater technological solutions to the dangers posed by commercial trucks. In 2016, over 4,300 people were killed in accidents involving semis and other large trucks. This marks a 28 percent increase over the death toll in 2009, according to reports. Despite the growing risk of fatalities and serious injuries, these types of trucks are not required to include crash-avoidance technologies.
The National Transportation Safety Board has reportedly urged the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to require the implementation of these technologies. Only a small number of heavy trucks currently have crash-avoidance systems installed. Since the late 1990s, the NTSB has argued for regulations to mandate forward crash avoidance and mitigation systems for heavy vehicles. However, no such regulation has been proposed by the NHTSA despite the passage of decades. The NTSB criticized this inaction in 2016, saying that many truck crashes could have been avoided with regulatory action.
The NHTSA said that it had researched automatic emergency braking technology and will conclude its testing in the field within 18 to 24 months. Any proposed regulation is likely to include this type of automatic emergency brake system. While trucking industry organizations call on their members to use these technologies, they have also opposed any attempt to regulate it formally by the government.
Commercial truck accidents continue to take lives and cause serious injuries, especially to those in passenger cars and other small vehicles on the road. When people are injured by a dangerous or negligent truck driver, a personal injury lawyer can help them fight for the compensation they deserve for their medical bills, pain and suffering and lost wages.