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Groups call for mandatory crash avoidance systems on large trucks

Some truckers in New York may have crash avoidance systems in their vehicles. However, safety advocates are urging the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to mandate crash avoidance technology on all heavy trucks. The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended such a course of action on at least 10 occasions since the late 1990s.

Since the NHTSA has not proposed any regulations along these lines, the agency has been the subject of criticism. The NTSB, an independent board, cannot act on its proposal. Safety advocates who have brought this issue up have received attention from several congressional members. Some elected officials say that Congress should take action so that safety concerns are not left to market forces.

In a written statement, the NHTSA claims to have wrapped up research on early automatic emergency braking systems. Its current research on next-generation versions of the technology is expected to be complete in 18 to 24 months. After this, the organization may decide on a future course of action.

Lobbying associations for the trucking industry oppose the idea of mandating crash avoidance tech. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has stated that many smaller trucking companies will be unable to pay for the additions, and others remain skeptical of the effectiveness of the technology.

With or without crash avoidance systems, truckers are still liable to become negligent behind the wheel like anyone else. If negligence is behind an accident, a victim may be able to file a personal injury claim and be compensated for their medical expenses, vehicle repair costs, lost wages and other losses. A lawyer can help them file before the statute of limitations runs out.