In September 2020, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) concluded its latest study on trucking safety technology. Alongside their findings, the non-profit safety organization recommends that the federal government adopt new commercial trucking safety standards.
The IIHS research team focused on two developing technologies in the automotive world, forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking. The team found that these technologies could potentially save hundreds of lives.
What the IIHS found
The IIHS has provided automotive safety recommendations since 1959. Founded to reduce the number of car accidents and the resulting injuries and property damage, the IIHS set the standard for many state vehicle laws. The IIHS is responsible for crash safety ratings, seat belt laws and much more.
So when their research team offers a new recommendation, lawmakers listen closely. This most recent study focused on how forward collision warning and emergency braking systems impacted commercial truck accidents. Based on data collected from over 2,000 crashes and 62 trucking companies, the IIHS found that the new tech prevented up to 40% of crashes where the truck hit a vehicle from behind. Additionally, those systems reduced crash speeds by up to 50% in truck crashes, significantly reducing injuries and property damage.
The IIHS recommends that the federal government adopt new commercial trucking regulations that require the systems on all new trucks. These regulations follow in the footsteps of a 2013 European Union mandate that requires the new systems. Many American fleet operators currently include the safety tech on their new trucks already.
Is the technology reliable enough?
Some trucking organizations do not fully agree with the IIHS findings. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association thinks the IIHS overlooked a driver’s experience, safety record and training. The American Automobile Association does not believe the tech works reliably enough to require on all new trucks. The IIHS maintains that the systems still prevent crashes and save lives.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 664 people died on Texas roads in 2018, making them the deadliest roadways in America. The IIHS study revealed that trucks equipped with forward collision warning had 22% fewer crashes, which may have made a difference for 146 people in 2018.
Injured in a truck accident? Reach out to a lawyer
If you have suffered injuries because of a truck accident, a lawyer can help. A local attorney familiar with Texas trucking laws can assess your case, work with insurance adjusters and draft a comprehensive settlement agreement.