Rear-ender accidents involving passenger vehicles hitting large commercial trucks, are far more common than we think. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are approximately 23,500 such truck accidents every year in the country, and these kill approximately 160 people.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is working on technologies that will help minimize the number of these accidents. The agency is working on a number of configurations of lights that will alert motorists approaching the back of an 18 wheeler to the risk of a collision. But the most promising configuration involves two sets of six LED lights, each placed on the back bumper. When a passenger vehicle gets too close to the back of the truck, a rear-facing radar system will activate the lights, alerting the motorist to slow down. The agency has already begun testing the system, and will likely move on to dynamic testing on the highways of Virginia. The FMCSA is likely to begin field operational testing involving the placing of these systems on fleet vehicles, by the end of this year.
A commercial truck can be up to 40 times heavier than other vehicles on the road. Whether it is a rear end accident involving a large commercial truck striking a smaller vehicle, or whether the truck is the one being hit, the consequences are the deadliest for the occupants of the smaller vehicle.
Atlanta truck accident attorneys have been encouraged to see that the FMCSA has been breaking new ground in enhancing trucking safety recently. Just Last week, we blogged about the fact that the agency will soon be rolling out a CDL fraud prevention system. Minimizing CDL fraud will mean that there are fewer numbers of poorly qualified, illegally licensed truck drivers on our highways.