Advancements in automotive technology have provided drivers with safety features and communication options that would have been inconceivable even a few years ago. But, as auto manufacturers continue to offer amazing new options for car buyers every year, the trucking industry lags behind. As dangerous as these big rigs are on our highways, it seems that they would want to take full advantage of safety technology for their drivers and others on the road, but sometimes it takes federal legislation to force change. Like the new federal requirement for electronic logging devices, the American Trucking Association (ATA) is now calling for the federal government to require all semi-trucks to be equipped with automatic braking systems.
How Automatic Braking Systems Work
According to a study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Association, trucks are responsible for 44 percent of crashes between large trucks and passenger vehicles, and 87 percent of these crashes are due to truck driver error. The ATA believes that equipping trucks with automatic braking systems will prevent many of these accidents. It is very difficult to stop a big rig and when a truck is suddenly cut off by a passenger car or a truck driver fails to see a traffic stoppage ahead, it may be impossible to stop the truck in time. With an automatic braking system, however, the truck’s brakes will be engaged automatically, giving the driver valuable time to control the rig. While different systems employ different technologies, the systems generally work by scanning the environment with sensors, cameras, or radar and engaging the brakes when an obstacle gets too close. These systems are available as options on new trucks and as an ad-on to existing trucks, but they are costly. The ATA hopes that a federal requirement will contribute to a lower cost for the technology.
Truckers Will Still Be Responsible for Their Actions
Even with new safety technology, federally mandated or not, truck drivers will continue to be responsible for crashes caused by their negligence.
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If you've been injured in a tractor trailer accident you need to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.