In July 2019, two House of Representatives members introduced a bill called the Safe Roads Act of 2019. If it is passed, it will make automatic emergency braking a standard feature on all new CMVs in Ohio and across the US. AEB, for those who don’t know, is a device that can apply the brakes in place of drivers when they fail to react in time to an impending crash.
One of those representatives introduced a similar bill back in 2011 and 2015 in the wake of a fatal crash involving a large truck. According to Injury Facts, the number of fatal crashes involving trucks is actually increasing. In 2017, there were 4,657 such crashes, which represented a 6% rise from the previous year and a 45% jump when compared to 2009. Yet those two attempts at getting a bill passed had failed.
Truck safety advocacy groups, including the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and the Truck Safety Coalition, are supporting the new bill. While AEB has been proven to save lives, there are issues, especially at high speeds. AEB currently works best at low speeds, and if it brakes at high speeds, it may startle the driver, leading to erratic behavior. Additionally, AEB and other driver assistance systems are still in their infancy and not fully autonomous.
If a trucker is negligent and causes a crash, then it may lead to a truck accident. Victims, for their part, may want a lawyer on their case because things can get complicated quickly. For example, the trucker may have had AEB on, but the device may have malfunctioned. This means that the manufacturer of the device may be partly to blame. Whatever the situation, though, a lawyer can probably handle negotiations and prepare for litigation as a last resort.