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Do Certain Safety Features Stop Truck Crashes?

Posted on November 20, 2023

Heavy duty and semi-trucks are increasingly being equipped with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). However, according to a recent report in Commercial Carrier Journal, these safety features are not being used in all commercial trucks.

Like those on passenger vehicles, ADAS features include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, camera-based mirrors, and blind-spot warning systems. They are typically bundled as features on newer Class 8 trucks. One reason not all fleets have these systems is that each truck manufacturer implements features over time, and not all features offer a high enough return on investment.

Yet most reports indicate these systems can greatly reduce on-highway crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), automatic emergency braking (AEB) in trucks could prevent more than 11,000 crashes, 7,700 injuries, and 170 deaths. Forward collision warning systems can reduce crashes by 14%, says the Michigan Transportation Research Institute. And the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that AEB and forward collision warnings in trucks could eradicate more than two out of five rear-end collisions. For comparison’s sake: tractor trailers and trucks weighing at least 33,000 pounds that had forward collision warning systems had 22% fewer crashes than ones without. Trucks with AEB had 12% fewer crashes.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration plans to continue research on industry trends and deployment rates to determine how aggressively it should push for adoption of such functionality.

Regardless of what safety features are installed in trucks, negligence causes accidents. If you have been injured in a truck accident, a Philadelphia law firm experienced in handling trucking accident lawsuits can help you understand your legal rights. Contact us to arrange a convenient time to speak.