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Should all tractor-trailers have collision alert systems?

One type of severe accident that sometimes occurs here in Kentucky are accidents in which a vehicle is rear-ended by a tractor-trailer.

What can help prevent such accidents? One thing is truck drivers making sure to remain attentive when driving. Rear-end truck accidents sometimes come about as a result of a truck driver, through inattentiveness, failing to notice that there is a traffic back-up in front of them and consequently failing to break in time to avoid hitting the vehicles in the back-up. When a truck driver fails to keep their attention on driving and individuals are injured as a result, the hurt individuals may be able to bring legal claims against the truck driver.

It is also possible that a new form of technology could help prevent rear-end truck accidents. Electronic collision alert systems are the technology in question. Such systems, when installed in tractor-trailers, monitor whether a truck is at risk of crashing into the vehicle in front of it. If the system determines that a truck is about to hit a vehicle or object in front of it, it can take steps such as alerting the truck driver or activating the truck’s brakes.

Currently, such systems aren’t in terribly wide use when it comes to large trucks. According to four traffic safety groups, such technology is in a mere 3 percent of the country’s tractor-trailers. The groups are trying to get the federal government to take actions to change this. Specifically, the groups have submitted a petition to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requesting that the federal government put a rule in place that would require all trucks that have a weight that is at or in excess of 10,000 pounds to have electronic collision alert systems in them.

Do you think having electronic collision alert systems in tractor-trailers could help significantly reduce rear-end truck accidents? Do you think all tractor-trailers should have such systems? Do you think the federal government should institute the rule requested in the above-mentioned petition?

Source: Tampa Bay Times, “Groups seek electronic collision alert devices on big trucks,” Feb. 19, 2015

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