California residents should know that many truck fleets have chosen to install automatic emergency braking on their big rigs. Right now, about 45% to 50% of new heavy-duty vehicles that are being sold come with AEB and its corresponding safety feature, forward collision warning. Many of these fleets have reported enthusiastically on the benefits.
Rear-end collisions cut by half
One fleet in Lowell, Arkansas, installed AEB and FCW in 98% of its tractor-trailers and found that employees would initiate 50% fewer rear-end crashes. Among those crashes that could not be prevented, the features clearly mitigated the severity so that fatalities and significant injuries became less likely. The result was less equipment downtime and higher driver retention.
A fleet in Green Bay, Wisconsin, saw similar results within the first three years of its spec’ing of active safety systems. It reported a 68% reduction in rear-end collisions and 95% reduction in the severity of those crashes that did occur.
AEB not likely to be adopted nationwide
So far, there are no plans for AEB and FCW to become mandatory for all trucks, despite the fact that they will become standard on most passenger vehicles by 2022. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration mandated the use of stability control back in 2017, but no other safety feature has been the subject of a similar measure.
When truck drivers cause accidents
Perhaps you were the victim of a rear-end collision at the hands of a truck driver. This can easily open the way for a personal injury claim, and you may want to pursue one so as to be compensated for your medical expenses and other legitimate losses. The general rule is to file within two years of the date of the accident. You may want a lawyer to assist, though, while you devote more time to recovering.