Every year, commercial trucks transport goods across the United States. Fleet owners and independent operators invest heavily in their trucks to ensure the highest safety and training standards. Despite these efforts, large truck crashes have increased by half since 2009.

The National Security Council (NSC) estimates that nearly 5,000 people lost their lives in 2018 to large truck crashes. Fully 71% of people killed were occupants of other vehicles. So, when the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recommends new federal safety regulations for commercial trucks, lawmakers listen.

The cost of commercial truck crashes

Many lawsuits involving commercial truck crashes pay out huge cash rewards with the verdict. In 2013, a jury awarded the family of Texas man killed by a drive shaft broken off a semi-truck $281 million. The family of an Idaho woman who died in a head-on collision with a semi received a $27 million verdict in 2019. Many of these verdicts exceed the standard $1 million insurance that most trucking companies carry, requiring them to liquidate assets to cover the damages. Reducing the number, severity and cost of these crashes could benefit everyone in the United States — the new recommendations from the IIHS aim to do just that.

Results on the study of new truck safety tech

The IIHS’ most recent recommendations come from a study on forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking systems in large trucks. The non-profit organization examined crash data from over 2,000 crashes involving 62 trucking companies. The IIHS researchers discovered that these systems could prevent nearly 40% of crashes where the semi rear-ends the other vehicle. The systems also work to reduce the truck’s speed, reducing injuries and damage in those crashes.

The IIHS recommends that federal lawmakers adopt new regulations that require all new trucks to equip these technologies. The organization has helped shaped automotive safety laws since 1959 to reduce crashes, injuries and property damage. The IIHS believes these systems will help shape the next generation of road safety.

A lawyer can help assess your case

If you suffered an injury in a truck accident, a lawyer can assess your case and recommend next steps. Should the federal government mandate the safety tech on new commercial vehicles, you will build a more successful defense alongside an attorney familiar with the latest in developing truck safety laws.