Is $500 a lot of money? That’s about the cost of an anti-collision system for big rigs, tractor trailers, and commercial trucks. These devices work simply: they gather and interpret data from around the truck and engage the brakes if the truck driver can’t or doesn’t brake in time to avoid a crash. According to manufacturers and some safety experts, anti-collision system can stop accidents or can reduce the speed and therefore the severity of a crash.
Anti-collision systems are sometimes called mitigation braking or forward collision avoidance or F-CAM systems. They make use of cameras and sensors to gather information about traffic and speed around a truck. If a collision is imminent, the system warns a truck driver with a sound. If the driver does not respond, the system engages the brakes. Currently, about 3% of commercial tractor-trailers on American roads have the devices installed.
The Debate About Safety Systems
The technology is already standard on new vehicles, but for older fleets there is some debate about the usefulness of the devices. Some experts and truck industry insiders claim that the anti-collision systems don’t prevent all accidents while the $500 price tag is too high. They allege that the money could be better put towards improved driver training or better wages to encourage drivers to drive more safely.
Drivers who are independent owner/operators may especially be affected by the price tag on the anti-collision systems. These drivers usually own their own trucks and are responsible for all work done on the truck. The $500 cost for installing the systems would have to be paid by them, and at this time it’s unlikely that any programs would be developed to help defray the costs.
An investment in an anti-collision system can be less expensive than facing a lawsuit after a trucking accident, and these devices may help save some lives. Some groups have been asking Congress and the NHTSA (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) to make these devices mandatory on all trucks.
The Future of Truck Safety Systems
According to the NHTSA, fatalities in large truck crashes have increased 17% between 2009 and 2013. Part of the problem may be more trucks on the road, but the NHTSA has made many recommendations to improve safety and to lower those rates. Advocacy groups – including Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the Center for Auto Safety, the Truck Safety Coalition, and Road Safe America – have been asking the NHTSA to recommend mandatory anti-collision systems for larger trucks. They say the issue is especially important because the number and weight of trucks is expected to increase through 2040.
Have you been injured in a truck accident in Hollywood or South Florida that could have been prevented with better safety devices or safety rules? Would you like to know whether you have a claim or other options? If you have been injured, you can reach out to Flaxman Law Group at any time. We’d be happy to arrange a free consultation so you can review your situation with an attorney at our full-service law firm.