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Legislation may curtail 18-wheeler accident risk on Georgia roads

When an accident happens, a car or other passenger vehicle is no match for a fully loaded tractor-trailer traveling along at highway speeds. A distracted or inattentive truck driver who fails to react to slowing traffic up ahead can cause a collision resulting in serious injuries or death.

Reacting to accidents this year on Georgia highways in which 10 people lost their lives when their vehicles were hit by big rigs, Congress is considering legislation to require every truck company to install automated braking systems on vehicles before putting them into service. The collision avoidance technology is designed to maintain a safe distance between the truck and other vehicles that are in front of them.

The system works by automatically applying the brakes if an operator suffering from truck driver fatigue or an inattentive truck driver fails to take notice of slowing traffic. Legislators believe the law could eliminate situations in which an 18-wheeler accident happens because an inattentive truck driver failed to brake in time to avoid a collision with stopped or slowing vehicles.

Some truck manufacturers are already offering the system on their vehicles, and some commercial trucking operations are equipping their trucks with the new technology. The purpose of the law, according to legislators sponsoring it, is to make all trucks on the highways safer by equipping them with automated braking systems.

Unfortunately, automated braking systems only address one type of truck accident. The technology will not help vehicles to avoid a head-on collision with a truck crosses into oncoming traffic. If you have been injured through the negligence of a truck driver or through negligent truck maintenance, a Macon personal injury attorney might be of assistance.

Source: WSB-TV, “Death of Georgia Southern nursing students at center of bill for big rigs,” Sept. 21, 2015 

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