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Traffic groups seek safety devices to be installed on semi-trucks

With a recent rise in the number of fatal truck crashes, two prominent traffic organizations are lobbying the federal government for mandatory safety measures. If the measures become law, it will affect semi-truck drivers in North Carolina as well as those driving through the state.

There are two safety features that the groups seek to become mandatory. The first is a speed limiter that will slow a truck if it exceeds 65 mph. Many truck models have such speed limiters installed, but they can be turned on and off or set at different speeds. According to advocates, the rate of highway accidents is twice as high for those who do not use speed limiters.

The other is now popular in passenger vehicles, an automatic emergency braking system, or AEB. If the vehicle with the installed AEB approaches another vehicle too closely, an audible alarm will go off. If the vehicle continues to close the distance, the AEB will automatically apply the brakes. An AEB has shown the ability to both reduce the number accidents and the severity when a crash occurs.

The groups claim that for many years, they have sought implementation of these types of actions at the administrative level. According to the groups, the executive branch has ignored requests to create these administrative regulations. They are now focusing efforts in Congress to have them passed as legislation.

To those involved in a collision with a semi-truck, the results are often serious if not fatal. When the collision is due to the negligence of the truck driver, the recourse for making the victim whole may be through litigation. An experienced personal injury attorney may be able to seek recovery for property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain, suffering and permanent disability. Irrespective of whether a safety device is mandated by law, the truck driver must drive with reasonable care under the circumstances.

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