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Semi-Trucks to Get New Safety Devices

Semi trucks take up a lot of real-estate on the road. We give them extra space and are cautious when passing them, because we know that getting into an accident with a semi truck is completely different story than getting into an accident with another car. Semi truck safety regulations are crucial to the safety of every traveler on the road.

The injury attorneys at Thompson Law Firm in Phoenix have significant experience in helping clients who have been in a trucking accident.  Our offices are conveniently located in ChandlerPeoria, and North Phoenix, and we can meet in-person or over the phone or video call.  You can contact us for a free consultation, or read on to find out more.

By the way, we will also help with other problems that have cost you sleep, like getting a rental car very soon and finding a nearby doctor who can help you. Even the best legal team isn’t good enough if your quality of life isn’t sustainable while justice and compensation are on the way. The whole point of legal action is to regain quality of life, so we help you long-term as attorneys and short-term as your go-to people.

New Semi Truck Safety Measures

The good news is that new semi truck safety measures are being discussed that could reduce the number of truck accidents.

But, the not-so-good news is that these semi truck safety measures available today, which add only 1% to 2% to the cost of a big rig, won’t be required for six more years. Additionally, a US Senate panel has proposed suspending a new Department of Transportation regulation which would require truckers to get more rest before driving.

According to an article in the New York Times, safety systems originally designed for cars are increasingly being adapted for semi truck safety systems.

Freight carriers are adding electronic safety devices to their fleets — like systems that can slow a truck down when a vehicle ahead of it reduces speed.

According to a spokesman for a heavy-truck component supplier, 15% of new heavy-duty trucks are ordered with a collision avoidance system.  This uses a front-mounted radar system to sense the risk of a potential crash.  Then the system throttles back the truck’s engine, activates the engine brake, and applies the wheel brake if the driver fails to respond to multiple warnings. This automation prevents crashes and increases semi truck safety systems effectiveness.

Semi Truck Safety: What’s Being Done

About 50,000 of the largest trucks, which are called Class 8 trucks, are equipped with Meritor Wabco’s OnGuard collision safety system, introduced in 2008.

However, this is only about 2.2% of the total US highway trucking fleet.

More widely used semi truck safety devices include electronic stability controls.  These systems use sensors to measure the truck’s speed, tilt, and direction of travel. This then determines when it’s going out of control and risks overturning.  The systems then apply the brakes to bring the truck back under control.

About half of all new trucks are ordered with these stability controls, which are usually extra-cost options.  But at least one company – Volvo – is making stability controls standard on all of its large trucks.

Volvo trucks also have other safety features such as adaptive cruise control. This maintains a set distance to the vehicle ahead.  Active braking responds to potential collisions ahead by applying the brakes. And a lane departure warning uses a camera. This reads lane markings and alert the driver if the lane change appears to be a mistake.  Consequently, if the driver crosses a line without using a turn signal, then the system will issue an alert.

The lane-change alerts have the added safety benefit of “training” truck drivers to signal their lane changes. Further, some of these safety technologies are expected to be required by federal law to be used in heavy trucks by the year 2020.

A 2013 report by federal regulators concluded that the universal use of the available collision avoidance technology would have reduced:

  • Rear-end crashes by 16%
  • Fatal crashes by 24%
  • Injuries by 25%

Contact a Trucking Accident Attorney

At the Thompson Law Firm, we have more than 10 years of experience helping clients obtain compensation for their personal injuries, including those from trucking accidents. When you’re ready to talk, please contact our office to arrange a free initial consultation by phone or at our Chandler office.

If you have been in a trucking accident, contact Thompson Law Firm in Chandler, AZ to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. We provide personal injury legal services to clients in the greater Phoenix area including ChandlerGilbertMesaScottsdale, Tempe, and Peoria.

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