The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) statistics show that the number of semi truck accident deaths raised 9% from 2016 to 2017. Around 300 people are killed a year, and 15,000 injured, after behind hit by a semi. This includes commercial and non-commercial vehicles/trucks that have a GVWR higher than 10,000 pounds.
Though still, the trucking industry and other federal regulators have not yet taken some small, widely suggested, measures to help insure safety. There has been a lot of talk saying that truck manufacturers should install new safety equipment in all working trucks before being sold. This includes forward collision warning systems, automatic emergency braking, etc. They are also saying that congress should require all trucks to be equipped with collision avoidance technology.
Last month in Florida, the driver of a tractor-trailer lost control of his vehicle causing him to flip over on the turnpike. Witnesses claim that sound of the crash related to that of an earthquake. The driver of the 18-wheeler was killed; though nobody else was seriously injured.
Horrific incidents like these may be able to be prevented if laws are passed that require the installation and usage of safety equipment. Companies that install collision avoidance systems say that they alone have the possibility of preventing 7/10 rear-end accidents.
Improving Truck Accident Safety
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended that the NHTSA require forward crash avoidance and mitigation systems in all trucks at least 10 times in the 1990’s. However, no real action has been taken by the NHTSA.
The European Union requires the use of crash avoidance systems on all their big, working trucks on the road. If we required the same, we could potentially be saving hundreds of lives a year.
U.S. Senator, Cory Booker, says that the number of semi truck accident deaths is not to be ignored, in an interview with The Star. The New Jersey Democrat calls upon congress, asking them to begin taking steps towards improving trucking safety. Though it is up to the federal government to make a final decision, the backing of other powerful political figures may be what is needed to convince lawmakers that this technology is important and vital.
The extra money it will cost to implement these systems into working vehicles is worth the lives that it will save.