When it comes to improving driving safety on our nation’s roads, there are multiple approaches that can be taken. Perhaps the most proactive demographic to improving safety is the trucking industry. In addition to providing training to drivers, there are also regulations in place that outline activities that drivers can and cannot engage in. For example, they cannot drive without taking a certain amount of time off to rest.
Another approach that is taken in ensuring safety in the industry involves the equipment. Recently four trucking organizations charged with improving safety requested that the federal government make rules regarding the use of crash sensors on big rigs. The safety organizations that made the request via petition to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration include:
- Road Safe America
- Center for Auto Safety
- Truck Safety Coalition
- Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety
More specifically, the organizations are seeking to make it mandatory that new buses and large trucks, with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or more, have forward collision avoidance and mitigation braking systems installed. These systems both warn drivers when they are getting too close to another vehicle and actually apply the brakes when necessary. Though available, since the use of the system is currently optional, few trucks actually have it.
According to the senior vice president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the technology could help reduce the number of rear-end crashes the large commercial vehicles are involved in. The number of people who are killed or injured in crashes with large trucks has been on the rise since 2009.
What, if any, action the NHTSA will take in response to the petition remains to be seen. We will provide updates as they become available.