Virginia residents should know that fatal large-truck crashes have been on the rise for over a decade. Between 2009 and 2018, their number went up 52.6% with 2018 seeing a total of 4,415 such incidents. This is largely due to several changes both in and out of the trucking industry: changes that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will be analyzing in a new study.
In January 2020, the FMCSA made its formal proposal of such a new study, the first one in over a decade. It sent Congress the results of its previous large-truck causation study back in 2006. The focus of this new study will be on distracted driving and how smartphones, navigation systems, fleet management systems and even safety features like automatic emergency braking are contributing to it.
Researchers intend to gather data from on-board electronic systems that generate information on when truckers exceed the speed limit, brake harshly or depart from their lane. Their goal is to identify strategies for reducing the number and severity of truck crashes. These strategies are to be applied even to trucks with Level 4 and 5 automation: that is, high and full automation. With these strategies, the FMCSA may help improve the automated driving systems that will be provided for commercial fleets in the future.
Distracted truckers are not always to blame for accidents. Sometimes, negligent truck maintenance is the reason. Whatever the cause of an accident, victims may want to have the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney when seeking compensation for their medical bills and other losses.