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Why crash avoidance systems should be mandatory in commercial trucks

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during 2012 alone, large commercial trucks were involved in some 333,000 accidents nationwide. In these crashes, roughly 100,000 people suffered injuries for which they required medical care and nearly 4,000 were killed.

Commercial trucks weigh several tons more than the average car or personal vehicle. Consequently, it takes much longer for a truck to slow down or stop when encountering traffic congestion, road construction or some other emergency. Florida residents were recently reminded of this sobering fact when news broke of a Georgia accident in which a tractor-trailer truck crashed into the back of a vehicle carrying several college students.

According to a news report, the driver of the tractor-trailer failed to slow down in time to avoid crashing into a line of vehicles that had slowed for traffic. A total of seven vehicles were involved in the accident. In addition to the five college students who were killed, five other people; including two additional college students, suffered injuries and were taken to the hospital.

This most recent fatal truck accident has renewed calls from some highway safety advocates who contend this and other similar tragedies can be avoided through the implementation of collision avoidance systems. Vehicles outfitted with these systems automatically brake when sensors detect another vehicle or object. Surprising, while such systems are now standard in many new cars, they are not standard for commercial trucks.

Florida residents who have been injured or otherwise adversely impacted by a truck accident may choose to explore their legal options. In cases where a truck driver was distracted, fell asleep at the wheel or failed to maintain a safe distance; compensation may be awarded to account for related expenses and losses.

Source: WSB-TV, "Group calls for collision avoidance systems in trucks following fatal crash," Tom Regan, April 24, 2015

WSB-TV, "5 Georgia Southern students killed, 2 injured in crash," Rachel Stockman, April 23, 2015

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