In 2016, 4,300 Americans were killed in car accidents involving semis and other large trucks, which is a 28 percent increase compared to 2009. Despite this, commercial trucks in New York and across the U.S. aren’t required to have collision avoidance technology.

According to a report by The Kansas City Star, the National Transportation Safety Board has repeatedly requested that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration mandate collision avoidance technology in commercial trucks. However, the agency has failed to do so. As a result, only a small portion of large trucks currently traveling U.S. roads have advanced safety technology systems on board.

Studies show that collision avoidance systems featuring automatic emergency braking systems could prevent over 70 percent of all truck rear-end collisions. When crashes do happen, the technology has also been proven to mitigate the severity of the impact and reduce injuries. While the NTSB has long supported a law requiring that commercial trucks use such technology, the NHTSA has yet to take action. However, the agency has issued a statement saying it has finished researching early versions of automatic emergency braking systems and hopes to complete reviews of newer versions within 24 months. In the meantime, some U.S. lawmakers are pushing for Congress to step in and pass legislation mandating the use of collision avoidance technology in commercial trucking fleets.

Car accidents involving large trucks can cause severe injuries, especially to the occupants of passenger vehicles. Victims of truck accidents may wish to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible truck driver and/or the driver’s trucking company. This type of lawsuit is designed to help injured victims obtain financial compensation for their losses, including medical expenses and lost wages. An attorney might evaluate a victim’s case and help prepare a claim.

Source: Insurance Journal, “Kansas City Star: Changes Urged After Spike in Deadly Big Truck Crashes,” Sept. 17, 2018