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Feds fail to take action on truck safety regulations

Large truck crashes have increased in Georgia and across the U.S. over the past few years. In 2017, 4,102 people were killed in truck crashes nationwide. This represented a 28 percent spike over 2009. Of the people killed, 17 percent were truck drivers or truck occupants, 68 percent were occupants of passenger vehicles and 14 percent were bicyclists, motorcyclists or pedestrians.

According to Road Safe America and other truck safety organizations, large truck accidents could be reduced if the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would mandate the use of automatic emergency braking and forward collision avoidance systems for the trucking industry. These systems have been repeatedly recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board over the last decade, but the NHTSA has failed to take action.

For its part, the NHTSA claims it conducted research on early versions of automatic emergency braking, or AEB, systems between 2013 and 2016 and is now testing newer versions of the technology. The latest round of testing is expected to be completed within the next two years. Meanwhile, the U.S. automotive industry has promised to make AEB systems standard on all new passenger vehicles by 2022. Studies have shown that AEB and forward collision avoidance technology can significantly reduce the risk of rear-end collisions.

Families who lose loved ones in fatal truck accidents may wish to contact legal counsel for assistance. An attorney could gather evidence proving a truck driver was legally responsible for a victim's death and file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for various crash-related losses. Typical damages paid out in a wrongful death claim include funeral bills, loss of income and more. Families could learn more about their legal rights by contacting an attorney for a consultation.

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