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New rule will bring automatic emergency braking systems to trucks

On Behalf of | May 6, 2024 | Personal Injury |

Trucking safety has been an issue for decades. And it’s a major issue. In fact, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that as many as 60,000 rear-end accidents occur each year where a heavy vehicle, like a semi-truck, is the striking vehicle. These and other types of accidents involving big rigs cause serious harm, too. Victims are often left disabled and with lifelong pain, and their psychological well-being can take a toll. The financial ramifications can be devastating, too.

Fortunately, the government is trying to curtail the dangerousness of these vehicles. While multiple public safety initiatives have failed, the NHTSA and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) are now partnering to try to implement new technologies that could make trucking safer.

Rule proposed to implement automatic emergency braking systems

Last year, the FMCSA and the NHTSA proposed a rule that would require the installation of automatic emergency braking systems on semi-trucks. These systems would utilize multiple sensors that cause the vehicle to brake when a crash is imminent, even when the driver is unable to respond in a timely fashion. The system activates when the truck travels six miles per hour or faster. The NHTSA expects that once implemented, these braking systems would prevent more than 19,000 wrecks and prevent 155 accident deaths and nearly 9,000 injuries.

The rule, which was part of the infrastructure law that was passed in 2021, is expected to be implemented in 2024.

Are there concerns with the new system?

These braking systems have been shown to be effective in low-speed scenarios, but some are concerned about their effectiveness in high-speed situations. Others highlight that these braking systems do nothing to address T-bone accidents and wrecks involving left turns, considering that these crashes make up a significant amount of fatal truck accidents. That said, it’s clear that any sort of automatic braking system is going to provide more protection to motorists than no automatic braking system.

There are also financial concerns associated with the mandatory installation of these braking systems, especially for small businesses that may not be able to cover the costs associated with installing them on entire trucking fleets. The true cost of implementing these systems is still to be seen. If it proves overly burdensome for some trucking companies to comply with the new rule, then we might see some of them skirting the rule to cut costs. This, in turn, can lead to unresolved safety issues that could put you and your loved ones at risk.

What should you do if you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident?

If you or a loved one has been hurt in one of these truck wrecks, then you need to think about taking legal action. Doing so will have a deterring effect, which may help keep other motorists safe. Additionally, a personal injury lawsuit could lead to the recovery of compensation that you need to stabilize your life and pay for your needed medical care. Just be through in building your case so that you don’t lose your case because you didn’t present evidence that was readily available.

Take your future into your own hands

Although the automatic emergency braking system rule is expected to be implemented this year, you can’t sit back and wait for others to implement measures to protect you. Instead, you need to be proactive in building your claim from the ground up. By doing so, you’ll hopefully protect your rights and your future.


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