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What might reduce rear-end crash risks involving big trucks?


Nothing is more obvious concerning a commercial truck operating on American roadways than its outsized dimensions compared with other vehicles sharing the road.

Except perhaps this: the typically severe injury consequences for third parties who suffer in accidents involving big rigs.

We duly stress that latter point at the proven Texas personal injury law firm of Michalk, Beatty & Alcozer, LP. We underscore on our website that, “Tractor-trailer, semi, 18-wheeler and commercial vehicle trucking accidents almost always result in serious injuries.”

The catalysts promoting dire outcomes stemming from truck drivers’ behind-the-wheel behaviors are many and varied. We note that they centrally include distracted driving, fatigue, alcohol/drug use, speeding and additional factors.

Negligent driving results in multiple types of crashes involving smaller passenger vehicles, with one particular kind of accident frequently being spotlighted by safety regulators.

Namely, that is the rear-end crash, which predictably has a devastating impact on passenger-vehicle occupants struck from behind by large commercial rigs.

What – if anything – can be done to lessen such occurrences or otherwise reduce their routinely adverse effects?

Much, actually, according to study findings recently released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The IIHS states that an “important countermeasure” to the often tragic results of rear crashes resides in the expedited implementation of on-board electronic safety systems in large trucks.

What IIHS research specifically spotlights in its implement-these-features-now message is forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking technology. There is presently no legal onus on any American trucking fleet or independent driver to install either tech assist on a commercial vehicle, and the institute says that is a telling omission that needs to change.

Study evidence culled by the IIHS supports that. Relevant research into crash data at more than 60 trucking firm revealed that on-board employment of the cited safety systems reduced rear crashes by more than 40%.

That is certainly information worth looking into.