Proposed Rule Aims to Prevent Thousands of Rear-End Truck Accidents
A proposed federal regulation requiring heavy trucks to be equipped with automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems could help prevent rear-end truck accidents, which are among the most severe and catastrophic types of motor vehicle crashes on our roads.
“Today’s announcement is an important step forward in improving safety on our nation’s roadways by reducing, and ultimately eliminating, preventable tragedies that harm Americans,” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Chief Counsel Ann Carlson said in a recent statement published by The Trucker.
Understanding the proposed AEB requirements
Recently, the NHTSA, U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) made an important announcement regarding the safety of large commercial trucks. They introduced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would make it mandatory for new commercial trucks weighing over 10,000 pounds to be equipped with AEB systems.
As reported in The Trucker article, this advanced technology would act as an additional layer of safety by automatically applying the truck’s brakes in situations where the driver either fails to do so or doesn’t apply enough force. The proposed AEB system would function within a speed range of 6 to 50 mph, effectively addressing potential collision scenarios during a significant portion of truck operations.
“This technology can enhance the effectiveness of commercial motor vehicle crash reduction strategies and reduce roadway fatalities,” FMCSA Administrator Robin Hutcheson said in a statement published by The Trucker.
Federal officials accepting public comments
The proposed rule change is currently open for public comments, allowing individuals and organizations to provide feedback. The NHTSA and FMCSA will carefully consider the public input and make any necessary changes to the proposal.
The AEB system has already garnered support from the American Trucking Association (ATA). According to ATA Vice President of Safety Policy Dan Horvath, the ATA has long advocated for the implementation of AEB in all new vehicles. He emphasized the timeliness and appropriateness of this proposal for heavy-duty trucks, particularly given the recent NHTSA regulation that mandates AEB in all new passenger vehicles.
Common causes of rear-end truck accidents
Rear-end truck accidents involving large commercial trucks are frequent and among the deadliest types of truck accidents. The NHTSA reports that approximately 60,000 rear-end truck accidents occur annually, as noted in The Trucker. However, the proposed AEB system has the potential to make a significant impact. According to NHTSA estimates, if implemented, this system could prevent approximately 19,118 rear-end truck collisions each year, saving 155 lives and preventing 8,814 injuries.
Many of these accidents occur because commercial trucks either travel at excessive speeds or follow the vehicle ahead too closely. Inexperienced truck drivers often contribute to these incidents. Still, other factors, such as distracted driving and driver fatigue, particularly for long-haul cross-country truck drivers, are also significant contributors to rear-end truck accidents.
When to contact a truck accident lawyer
When it comes to rear-end accidents involving tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, and other heavy commercial big rigs, there’s often a lot at stake for everyone involved. Unfortunately, it’s common for trucking companies and insurance providers to go to great lengths to minimize or deny accident claims, leaving victims burdened with their accident-related expenses and searching for answers. That’s when having an experienced truck accident lawyer on your side can make all the difference in the outcome of your case.
At Pajcic & Pajcic, we know how to handle complex cases and fight for the compensation our clients deserve. Our law firm has recovered over $1.5 billion for our clients, including many multi-million-dollar truck accident settlements and verdicts for injury victims and their families.
Discover what we can do for you. To see how an experienced truck accident attorney can help with your potential legal case, contact us today for a free evaluation. From our office in Jacksonville, we proudly serve accident victims in Florida and nationwide.