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Will New Technology Help Prevent Truck Accidents?

San Diego car accidents involving large trucks and buses are among the most dangerous, particularly for the driver of the smaller vehicle. In 2013, 3,964 people were killed and approximately 95,000 people were injured in crashes involving large trucks. More than 70 percent of the time, the accident victims were occupants of other vehicles.

In response to a recent uptick in large vehicle accidents, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has pushed for stricter safety regulations. The agency has also called on the bus and trucking industries to adopt technology proven to help prevent crashes.

As San Diego injury lawyers, we are pleased to share that one of the NHTSA’s recommendations is finally becoming a reality. Earlier this month, the NHTSA announced that it has finalized its rule requiring electronic stability control (ESC) systems on heavy trucks and large buses. ESC automatically maintains directional control of a vehicle in situations where the driver's own steering and braking is not responsive enough to prevent the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended a requirement for ESC on heavy-duty vehicles since 2011.

The NHTSA predicts that the technology will prevent more than 50 percent of rollover crashes involving heavy trucks and large buses. Overall, ESC is expected to deter as many as 1,759 crashes, 649 injuries and 49 fatalities each year.

“Reducing crashes through ESC in these trucks and buses will save lives – nearly 50 each year. It will move goods and people more efficiently and reduce the toll crashes take on our economy through traffic delays and property damage,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. “It’s a win for the safety and convenience of the traveling public and for our economy.”

The new requirement will take effect for most heavy trucks in two years. Buses larger than 33,000 pounds will have three years to comply, while those weighing between 26,000 and 33,000 pounds will have four.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a San Diego motor vehicle accident, don’t hesitate to contacta San Diego personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.