The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believes that new technology is the best way to reduce accidents and is taking several steps to improve truck safety. The agency is currently considering a mandate for stability control systems in heavy-duty tractors. In addition, NHTSA research may soon lead to mandatory speed limiters in tractors, collision-imminent braking technology, forward collision and lane departure warning systems as well as updated crashworthiness standards.
Stability Control Systems
Stability control systems help prevent loss-of-control situations that lead to the most dangerous accidents, including deadly rollovers – these truck accidents result in over 300 deaths and 2,700 injuries each year. Researchers estimate that the technology could significantly cut these numbers, preventing over half of rollover crashes.
Many carriers already include stability control systems in new trucks. Nearly all tank trucks come equipped with the technology. A new NHTSA rule requiring stability control systems would significantly reduce crash risks in the remaining 75 percent of trucks that lack the technology. The rule may also apply to buses and other large vehicles.
The NHTSA is also developing a plan to mandate speed limiters in some trucks. If successful, the rule would require technology that limits most trucks to less than 70 mph. The plan is backed by research from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration showing that speed limiters cut the crash rate by almost half versus trucks without the technology.
Accident-prevention technology offers clear safety benefits for large vehicles, with the benefits spilling over to the general public. When large trucks and buses are involved in accidents, occupants of other vehicles often pay the price. Crash victims and their families should contact an experienced attorney to discuss their legal rights and how to obtain compensation for injuries and property damage.