Collision Avoidance Technology Can Reduce Michigan Truck Accidents
Technological advances in recent years have led to many new options for crash avoidance technologies in vehicles. Drifting sensors, backup cameras, alert systems, and other safety features carry the potential to drastically reduce the number of collisions on the roads of Macomb County.
This is especially important in accidents involving large, heavy commercial trucks. With more force in a collision, these vehicles cause more damage and more serious injuries.
The Damage Caused By a Single Truck Accident
The scope of damage caused by a single truck accident was powerfully illustrated in 2016. The single collision between a tractor-trailer and an SUV killed six people and injured five others. Trucking Info reports that the tractor-trailer was traveling near the posted speed limit of 75 miles per hour when it encountered the slow-moving SUV. Survivors estimated that the SUV was traveling near the posted minimum speed limit of 40 miles per hour. Surprised by the unexpected SUV in his way, the truck driver attempted to brake and swerve around the slower vehicle, but was unable to avoid a collision.
The National Transportation Safety Board identified many factors that caused the accident and contributed to its extraordinary death toll. The SUV was seriously overloaded, carrying eleven passengers in a vehicle built for seven. Additionally, the truck driver was found to have made inconsistent log book entries. Investigators believed he had not had the legally-required sleep period in the day prior to the collision. His fatigue and surprise at encountering a slow-moving vehicle were found to be primary causes of the collision.
Ultimately, NTSB investigators reported that the lack of a collision avoidance system on the truck contributed to the severity of the accident.
The Legal Rights of Truck Accident Victims
Collision avoidance systems and features are not yet universally required on vehicles in the United States. Commercial vehicles (such as semi trucks) are a likely target for regulations, but they too are not currently required to carry crash avoidance technology. Nonetheless, a transportation company that operates trucks without such features can be held legally responsible for accidents that occur as a result.
This is because juries determine a defendant's negligence. A jury may therefore decide that it was negligent for a transportation company to operate its fleet without such features. A jury may also decide that, regardless of such technologies, the company's driver was negligent in failing to avoid a collision. This, too, leads to a finding of negligence, which imposes a legal obligation to compensate truck accident victims for the injuries and financial losses caused by the accident.
Our Macomb County truck accident attorneys know how devastating truck accident injuries can be. We present strong evidence and effective legal theories of liability in order to help victims access compensation and protect their legal rights. By holding negligent drivers and transportation companies accountable for dangerous driving, victims can encourage the use of important safety features and crash avoidance technologies. This will ultimately makes the roads of Michigan safer for everyone.