Road Safe America, an organization that prioritizes truck and tractor-trailer safety on U.S. roads, released information from a survey on truck safety. According to the group's findings, voters strongly support making speed limiters and automatic emergency braking a requirement in large trucks. 82 percent of voters favored AEB, while only nine percent of participants oppose it.
This follows startling data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that revealed 4,761 people lost their lives as a result of large truck crashes on U.S. highways. This is a 9 percent increase from 4,369 fatalities in 2016. Whether the steady increase in fatalities as a result of these accidents is due to the prevalence of distracted driving is not certain. What is certain, however, is that truck manufacturers may need to make changes.
Although AEB systems are not required for commercial motor vehicles, many automakers have committed to implementing this technology in their newer models. 20 automobile manufacturers pledged to implement a low-speed AEB system in all new passenger vehicles by Sept. 1, 2022. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety predicted that this commitment will prevent 28,000 crashes and 12,000 injuries by 2025.
This pact has not crossed over to commercial vehicles. Making collision avoidance systems a requirement in trucks can lower the amount of fatalities and injuries exponentially. According to the Truck Safety Coalition, truck drivers operating tractor trailers with collision avoidance technology, including AEB systems, electronic safety control and lane departure warnings, experienced lower crash rates. Over the course of 30 months, the 12,500 tractor trailers monitored had 71 percent fewer rear-end crashes, a 63 percent decrease in unsafe following distance and 46 percent fewer instances of improper lane changes.
Research has shown that automatic emergency braking technology lowers the amount of collisions. When an accident happens at a high speed, AEB may not be able to fully prevent this collision from occurring, but it lessens its severity, causing less serious injuries and damages. At low speeds, AEB systems can help prevent fender-benders altogether. As U.S. officials have prioritized the addition of automatic emergency brakes on passenger vehicles, they may push for this technology to become a standard in trucks in the near future.
The key to keeping people safe on the roads is to provide braking systems that are up to date and in ideal working condition. To see how effectively your tractor trailer brake systems are operating, request a complimentary brake testing consultation from Greening.