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Safety tech could reverse deadly increase in truck accidents

Advocates with Road Safe America say that speed limiters and automatic emergency brakes could cut down on the number of accidents involving commercial trucks in North Carolina or any other state. Fatal truck wrecks became more common between 2009 and 2017, according to federal data. In fact, 35,882 large truck crash victims lost their lives during that period.

The co-founder of Road Safe America partially blamed the rising death rate on speeding. Many states allow trucks to operate at 70 mph or more. These high speeds decrease the ability of large vehicles to avoid accidents. He said that big rigs should not exceed 65 mph. Some trucking companies already use speed governors to improve safety and save fuel, but their use is voluntary.

Automatic emergency braking systems also have the potential to aid drivers. Such systems alert drivers to stationary or slow-moving objects. If drivers do not apply brakes soon enough, the emergency system does it for them. U.S. truck manufacturers have been building big rigs with these safety systems since the 1990s because international buyers require the safety technology. Commercial truck operators could promote safety by activating the systems within their trucks.

When truck accidents occur, pedestrians or people in passenger vehicles often experience serious injuries. A victim might be unable to work for a long time while accruing high medical bills during recovery. However, a settlement from a personal injury claim could help a victim manage the financial hardship caused by a negligent party. The representation of an attorney could empower a person who lacks knowledge of the insurance or legal system.

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