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Groups push for safety tech to reduce fatal truck crashes

Louisiana commercial truck drivers and their employers should know that fatal large truck crashes are on the rise. Between 2009 and 2017, there was a 28 percent increase across the country. A total of 4,102 people died in these crashes in 2017, 68 percent being occupants of other vehicles and 14 percent being pedestrians, motorcyclists, or bicyclists. As a solution, some truck safety groups are recommending the use of forward collision warning and mitigation systems.

In fact, the National Transportation Safety Board recommends a federal mandatethat all heavy trucks use these systems. Despite making such a plea at least 10 times since 1990s, though, the NTSB has not moved the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration to propose a regulation of its own. The NHTSA, for its part, says it is still studying the technology, but critics say the organization is suffering from paralysis by analysis.

Critics also say that the trucking industry, when compared to the auto industry, is lagging behind in terms of integrating safety tech. Experts say that by 2022, all new vehicles sold in the U.S. will come equipped with automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning systems. Safety tech will only become more and more crucial as the number of freight shipments by truck continues to rise. This is due to economic growth and the continued reliance of consumers on online shopping.

Safety tech may prevent negligent truck drivers from causing a traffic accident, but it cannot prevent all incidents. Sometimes, manufacturers may be blamed for a defective truck part that contributes to a crash, while at other times the freight company may be held responsible. Whatever the case, those who are injured through no fault of their own may want to see a lawyer to learn more about what recourse they might have.

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