Drivers in California know that auto accidents can be devastating. That’s particularly true when one of the vehicles involved is a semitruck. Semis can carry loads of up to 80,000 pounds combined. When they rear-end a car, the results can be catastrophic. That’s why it’s so important to take steps to prevent these accidents before they happen. New technology is helping reduce the number of accidents on the road today.

Technology can save lives

One of the most effective recent innovations in automobile safety is automatic emergency braking (AEB). Another is forward collision warning (FCW). Typically, these safety features work together. FCW detects obstacles, and AEB engages if the driver doesn’t brake in time. Technology like FCW and AEB is available on most recent-model passenger vehicles like sedans and minivans.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, or IIHS, is eager to try this technology on semitrucks. It estimates that adding AEB and FCW to semitrucks could eliminate almost half of the collisions in which these vehicles rear-end cars. Statistics show that these truck accidents are becoming more common. They’ve increased by a third since 2009. In 2018, 119 deaths on the road were directly attributable to semis rear-ending passenger cars.

Currently, there are no laws mandating that equipment like AEB and FCW be included in cars. But it’s expected that by 2022, this technology will be standard for smaller vehicles. IIHS research and studies show that AEB and FCW could work for semitrucks too. The organization is hopeful that manufacturers will start including this equipment in new trucks.

Anyone who’s been affected by a truck accident should contact a lawyer. People who have lost loved ones or been severely injured should know that they may be eligible for damages. A skilled attorney can help them negotiate an appropriate settlement with the insurer.