The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is in constant communication with various entities and experts in the trucking industry. As part of its task to increase road safety and reduce the risk of serious truck accidents. However, a recent publication on Commercial Motor Vehicle Traffic Safety Facts reveals that there is still far to go in eliminating crashes. The frequency of fatal truck collisions and the number of deaths rose from 2016 to 2017. Leading to more than 5,000 deceased victims.
Through collaboration with the FMCSA, other government agencies, and players in the truck industry, some organizations have proposed new trucking safety technologies to reduce the number of crashes and victims. You can trust a Maryland truck accidents lawyer for assistance if you were involved in a collision, but a summary on the proposed initiatives may be helpful.
Speed Limiting Technology
One feature that is currently available, but not yet a requirement under federal law, is technology to regulate the truck driver’s speed. The equipment is installed through the truck tractor’s engine control systems to prevent the engine from burning fuel above certain limits. When triggered, the operator will not be able to accelerate in excess of the designated levels. This advancement is key, since the FMCSA reports that speed was a factor in one out of five crashes.
Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB)
Even with quick reaction time, a truck driver may not be able to hit the brakes in enough time to avoid a crash. AEB can instantly kick in to slow or stop the vehicle safely when it detects an accident threat. Many US trucking companies install this equipment on their fleets as a matter of policy, but AEB is not mandatory. Experts estimate that the technology may prevent up to 2,500 truck collisions every year.
Regulations on Underride Guards
When a lower profile auto slides under the truck and/or trailer in an accident, the incident is termed an “underride” crash. Guards are available to prevent the risks by absorbing the energy of the impact and deflecting the passenger vehicle away. Though these collisions can lead to extremely horrific injuries, particularly decapitation, underride guards are not yet required by federal law.
Increasing Truck Liability Insurance Requirements
Currently, federal regulations mandate that truck operators carry at least $750,000 in insurance coverage to cover the losses of victims. Proponents of increasing this minimum coverage argue that the rule dates back 40 years, during which time:
- There have been no adjustments for inflation;
- The costs of medical care have skyrocketed; and,
- The size, cargo weight, and speed limits have all increased.
Talk to a Baltimore County, MD Truck Accident Lawyer About Your Legal Options
These proposed trucking safety technologies could have a significant impact on reducing crashes. Truck accidents will always be a threat on Maryland roadways. If you were hurt or a loved one was killed in such an incident, please contact attorney Michael A. Freedman. We can set up a free consultation to review your circumstances and explain remedies for recovering compensation for your losses.