The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released data for crash statistics in 2017. The data revealed that 4,761 people lost their lives in trucking accidents during 2017. These numbers are an increase of 41 percent compared to 2009 figures. Frustratingly, technology is available that could have saved many of the lives lost during the last year.
Road Safe America recently released the results of a nationwide survey that found overwhelming support for new truck safety requirements. Specifically, the survey considered two types of safety equipment that are already used and proven to work with trucks: speed limiters and automatic emergency braking systems. The advocacy group argues that the implementation of these technologies could save hundreds of lives every year.
What the Survey Found
The survey was conducted from September 18 to September 24. It focused on individuals nationwide who were likely to be voters in the general election. The survey found that 79 percent of voters support using speed governors to limit the speed of trucks to 65 miles per hour. Only 13 percent of individuals opposed setting speed governors to 65 miles per hour. The survey also found that 82 percent of voters support automatic emergency braking systems on trucks. Only 9 percent of those surveyed opposed automatic emergency braking systems.
Why Safety Systems Matter
One of Road Safe America’s main focuses is on speed limiter technology. The organization reports that all trucks produced since 1992 have a speed limiter included as a standard feature. However, regulators do not require truck operators to use these limiters. Countries that require speed limiters to be active include the European Union, Japan, Australia, and parts of Canada.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has determined that speed limiters make a difference during accidents. The FMCSA found that trucks without their speed limiters activated are involved in collisions at twice the rate when compared to trucks with the technology on. In Ontario Canada, deaths in truck accidents dropped 24 percent after speed governors were required to be turned on.
Automatic Emergency Braking: An Elusive Safety Standard
One of the most frustrating sections of safety technology for advocates is automatic emergency braking systems. Despite being proven to work, no legislation has been passed requiring the use of these systems on commercial vehicles. The NHTSA has estimated that automatic emergency braking systems could prevent 2,500 crashes a year. A main source of safety advocate frustration comes from the lack of initiation on the part of the NHTSA to create safety rules. Even though it initiated a process to create regulations in 2015, the NHTSA missed the September 2018 deadline to release a report needed to create new requirements.
About Road Safe America
Road Safe America was founded after the Owings family lost their son in a tragic accident. Founders Steve and Susan Owings’ son Cullen was killed while waiting in traffic. His car was crushed by a tractor-trailer that was traveling over the speed limit with cruise control activated. The Owings founded Road Safe America to create something positive out of their tragic experience. Today, Road Safe America pushes for increased regulation in the trucking industry. The group is a major advocate for the installation of proven truck safety devices.
If you or a loved one has been hurt by a truck, there is hope. Call the truck accident attorneys at Arnold & Itkin today for a free consultation at (888) 490-0442.