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Truck crash deaths rise, safety groups push for new tech mandate

Large truck crashes killed 4,102 people in 2017 with 17% being truck occupants and 68% being occupants of other vehicles. Georgia residents should know that this number represents a 28% increase when compared to 2009 statistics. Many of these fatal crashes are rear-end collisions, which is why many truck safety advocates are pushing for a mandate that all large trucks have a crash avoidance and mitigation system installed.

On at least 10 different occasions since the 1990s, the National Transportation Safety Board has petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to propose such a mandate. However, the NHTSA has failed to act on these suggestions.

With so many passenger vehicles already being equipped with automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning, it's time for commercial trucks to keep up with the advances in technology, say safety experts. In fact, these safety features are set to become standard on all passenger vehicles by 2022. The need for such technology is becoming more urgent as the economy fueled by online shopping grows and, with it, the number of freight shipments.

The NHTSA, for its part, has stated that it is conducting a naturalistic driving study on next-generation automatic emergency braking systems. Field operation testing should be completed in 18 to 24 months, it says. Some complain that the NHTSA is over-analyzing the technology.

In cases where truck accidents don't end in death, victims may still incur catastrophic injuries with long-term consequences. If they were not to blame for their injuries, then they can seek compensation through an accident claim, but they may want a lawyer to assist them. A lawyer might hire medical experts to determine the extent of the injuries and investigators to gather proof of the trucker's negligence. The lawyer may then speak on victims' behalf at the negotiation table.

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