Semi-trucks are integral to American business. Responsible for over 70% of all goods transport in the U.S., regulations help ensure these trucks are in good working order and piloted by responsible drivers. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has advised U.S. lawmakers on automobile safety for years, helping create regulations that save lives.

The IIHS released a study on how new braking technologies have decreased the frequency of truck collisions. The IIHS hopes federal lawmakers will pass legislation that requires trucking companies to mandate these new technologies.

Emergency braking and collision warning save lives

The IIHS research team focused on two newer driving technologies: automatic emergency braking and advanced collision warning. The non-profit organization’s studies centered on data from over 60 trucking companies. Between 2017 and 2019, nearly 2,000 crashes on U.S. roads involved semi-trucks. The IIHS discovered that trucks equipped with collision warning were involved in 22% fewer crashes than those without, and trucks with automatic emergency braking saw a 12% reduction in crashes.

Overall, the IIHS found that trucks equipped with both technologies saw a reduction in rear-end collisions with another vehicle of 40%. The crashes that did occur were less severe, as well. Equipped trucks can reduce their speed much faster than those without, resulting in half as many injuries or damage. With such promising results, many fleet operators have begun upgrading their trucks.

Pushback against deployment

Despite these findings, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) insist upon their own review. Both organizations colloquially support the additions, with the FMCSA even encouraging the voluntary use of the technology.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) claims that their studies into the technology revealed that they do not work consistently. Eric Teoh, the IIHS director of statistical services, said that automatic emergency braking and advanced collision warning systems still prevent many crashes and mitigate their severity. With performance continually improving, regulating the addition of these technologies could save many lives.

Hit by a truck? Consider legal action

These massive vehicles are essential to American business but take to the roads with considerable risk. Even though advancements in tech help trucks navigate highways safely, crashes still occur, and victims are due restitution. Those involved in a semi-truck accident can bring their questions to a local lawyer familiar with Georgia motor vehicle law.