Commercial trucking could change over the next few years as federal regulators consider new data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The nonprofit organization has spent five decades shaping traffic laws to cut down on car accidents, reduce injuries and limit property damage.
The most recent study from the IIHS focuses on safety advancements in commercial trucking. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), more than 100 Kentuckians died in accidents involving commercial trucks in 2018. Increased safety regulations may reduce those numbers and save lives in the future.
What did the IIHS find?
IIHS researchers studied data from more than 2,000 commercial truck accidents between 2016 and 2018, examining crashes involving trucks with forward collisions warning and emergency braking systems.
The data suggests trucks equipped with these systems could avoid 40 percent of rear-end crashes. In the cases where crashes did occur, the systems helped the trucks reduce their speed before contact, reducing injuries and damage. The IIHS recommends the federal government require truckers and fleet operators to install these systems immediately.
Similar legislation exists in the European Union, where the technologies have helped improve safety since 2013. Many U.S. trucking companies already require emergency braking on many of their fleet vehicles, but the IIHS hopes to make this law.
New regulations always receive pushback
Despite the convincing data, not everyone wants new regulations. The Owner-Operator Independent Trucking Association does not believe the data considers a driver’s experience, training or safety record. The American Automobile Association (AAA) wants to see the technology perform more reliably before mandating its inclusion on new vehicles. The IIHS maintains that including the technology will likely save lives, and engineers continue to make improvements.
New laws will impact accident lawsuits
If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a truck accident, you could seek legal recourse with the help of a lawyer up to date on Kentucky’s motor vehicle laws. An attorney can assess your case, identify potential charges and draw up comprehensive settlement paperwork to secure the care you need.