Over the past few years, there has been a steady increase in the number of fatal truck crashes that occur. More than 4,500 victims are killed every year and these numbers have been increasing at an annual rate of approximately 10 percent. From 2009 to 2016, there has been a 28 percent overall increase in fatal truck accidents. This had led the federal government to seek different ways to reduce these numbers.
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Under current Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, commercial trucks are not required to be equipped with automatic braking systems or forward collision warning. That may soon change as the FMCSA is studying whether this should change. It is the role of this agency to issue and enforce commercial motor vehicle regulations.
However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – the federal agency that is in charge of setting motor vehicle and highway safety standards – disagrees with implementing new regulations regarding this technology.
According to the NTSB, there is a dire need for new regulations that will address rear-end collisions involving commercial trucks. Over the past 20 years, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended multiple times that commercial trucks should be equipped with technology that would help reduce rear-end crashes. But the NHTSA has not issued any recommendations regarding front-end collisions, even though studies have shown that forward collision avoidance systems could reduce 70 percent of rear-end truck crashes.
The NHTSA has basically ignored the pleas of the National Transportation Safety Board and numerous safety advocate agencies to take action that would prevent trucks from rear-ending other vehicles
On at least 10 occasions since the late 1990s, the NTSB has recommended that NHTSA require forward crash avoidance and mitigation systems on all heavy trucks. Two decades later, the NHTSA not only has not put a regulation in effect to address this issue, but they also have not even published a proposed regulation of its own.
Contact a Carolinas Accident Attorney
As the number of commercial trucks on our roads continues to increase, the number of fatal truck accidents will tragically continue without the implementation of safety regulations that could save lives.
Unfortunately, no matter how safely you drive or how many precautions you take, you are still at risk of being involved in a truck crash. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact a seasoned North Carolina truck accident attorney to discuss what legal recourse you may have. Truck accidents can be more complex than other types of vehicle accidents because there may be more than one at-fault party involved. Our N.C. personal injury attorneys have successfully represented many accident victims and would be happy to discuss the circumstances of your case and how we can help.