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Need for Collision Avoidance System in Trucks

Delaware Truck Accident Lawyers advocate for all trucks to be equipped with collision avoidance systems to prevent future fatal accidents. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports that a 2016 truck crash that resulted in six fatalities and five serious injuries could have been averted if the vehicle had a collision avoidance system in place. The tractor trailer responsible for the collision was brand-new and wired for a Bendix collision mitigation system. Yet the carrier had decided against buying and installing the crash avoidance system.

Drowsy Driving a Factor

Drowsy driving is believed to have been a contributor to the crash, which occurred in Goodland, Kansas on I-70 in the early morning hours of June 29, 2016. The 27-year old driver was on just his second trip for the company and had been a truck driver for three years. According to the NTSB investigation, the driver’s logbooks were “inconsistent,” and the driver, who normally worked days, had gotten no more than five hours sleep prior to driving this truck through the night and for the prior 21.5 hours.

The truck driver struck an SUV carrying 11 people from the rear that fateful morning. Survivors reported the truck did not look like it was speeding. Data later revealed the truck was on cruise control and traveling at approximately 75 miles per hour at the time of the crash, which was the maximum speed limit posted. The SUV was traveling at roughly the minimum posted speed, or 40 miles per hour. When the truck driver was about 100 feet from the back of the SUV, he apparently steered to the left and hit the brakes, but still hit the SUV.

NTSB Findings

The NTSB found fatigue and the truck driver’s failure to take timely action led to the crash. However, it also faulted the SUV driver for not using hazard lights while traveling so slowly, and for vehicle overload.

Had a collision avoidance system been installed in the truck, the NTSB believes the accident may not have occurred, since such systems are capable of automatically applying the brakes.

The Bendix Collision Mitigation System

While various manufacturers design and install collision avoidance systems, the one that this particular truck was wired for could have saved six lives. Volvo’s Active Driver Assist program uses the Bendix Collision Mitigation System, which integrates a camera, radar and the truck’s braking system. If the system detects an issue, a driver alert is automatically sent. The system can intervene to prevent crashes and any type of situation where the driver is in danger of losing control of the vehicle.

If the driver is too close to another vehicle, the dashboard window display gives them a heads-up. Additionally, the Bendix system offers optional blind spot detection and an integrated lane departure warning system that includes data capturing.

The NTSB has advocated for such systems for years.  In its report on the Kansas crash, the NTSB notes that the circumstances in this avoidable incident are among the reasons the agency is pushing so strongly for collision avoidance systems in the trucking industry.

Delaware Truck Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Advocate for Victims Harmed by Negligent Truck Drivers

If you or a loved one was injured in a trucking accident, you need the services of the experienced Delaware truck accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. LLC. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 302-888-1221 or contact us online.