Front Crash Prevention May Soon Become Standard In Large Trucks

May 18, 2016

If the United States mandates front crash prevention for big trucks, manufacturers could be facing major safety changes in the near future. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approved a petition in 2015 that called for making rules to add automatic brakes and forward collision warning on trucks weighing at least 10,000 pounds. In February of 2015, the petition was originally filed for approval by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the Center for Auto Safety, Road Safe America and the Truck Safety Coalition.

The NHTSA agreed with the petitioning organizations about the safety systems' abilities to save lives and to reduce the amount or severity of forward collisions. These systems use sensors, radars or cameras to track a truck's route and let the driver know if there may be a collision with a nearby object or vehicle. With some systems, the system automatically applies the brakes. However, many of the systems used in large trucks issue warnings to truckers. They must respond to the warning by applying the brakes themselves. Other systems may even use sensors to determine the truck's position on the road, and it may automatically steer the truck to avoid a crash.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said that more than 35 percent of forward collisions involving large trucks could be prevented if all trucks had these important technologies. At the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute, researchers estimated that fatalities resulting from forward collisions could be reduced by nearly 45 percent if these technologies became standard in all large trucks. Injuries could be reduced by more than 45 percent if each large truck had the two vital safety technologies.

Studies on the effectiveness of safety features in large trucks are not completely available since most existing trucks do not have these features. Crash prevention technology is reducing the amount of accidents and lessening the severity of crashes in accidents involving passenger vehicles. 

The American Trucking Association continues supporting the measure to have important safety features made standard in all large trucks in the near future. The association believes that reducing the number of forward collisions is a better goal than dealing with the damages. They recommend that every light and heavy truck have the warning system and assistive technology. To strengthen their position, they also pointed out that the European Union requires automatic brakes and forward collision warning on most large trucks.

Since truck drivers have long journeys and may become fatigued while driving, these technologies are especially helpful. To learn more about safety technology in trucks, discuss concerns with an agent.

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