Any time a large, 80,000 pound commercial truck collides with a small passenger vehicle, the resulting injuries can be catastrophic. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that nearly 100,000 individuals suffered injuries in commercial truck accidents in a single year in 2013. One particularly dangerous type of truck accident is a forward collision, wherein a large semi-truck collides into the back of a vehicle driving in front of the truck. Forward collisions can result in severe and often fatal injuries to occupants of the front vehicle.
The risk of override accidents
When a forward collision occurs, it may often turn into an override accident, which is when a large truck actually runs over a smaller vehicle. Because of the particularly high clearance underneath the front bumper of a semi-truck and the relatively low height of a car, combined with the extreme weight of the truck, a semi can easily drive onto the back of a car, especially if it is traveling at highway speeds. At times, the truck front can even crash through the back window of the car, crushing occupants of the back seat. Many victims do not survive an override accident and, if they do survive, they often face a life with permanent disabilities.
Can new technology help?
Because of the dangers of override accidents—and of truck accidents in general—many truck safety advocacy groups have made certain recommendations to the United States Department of Transportation and NHTSA. Specifically, groups have requested that the federal agencies require all new trucks to have forward collision avoidance and mitigation braking (F-CAM) systems installed. These F-CAM systems have sensors that detect when a tractor-trailer is in close proximity to another vehicle in front of the truck. First, an alarm system goes off to warn the driver that they are getting too close so the driver can hit the brakes to slow down or stop. If, for some reason, the driver does not press the brakes, the system is able to apply the brakes on its own to prevent the collision or at least to mitigate the damage in the crash.
Though these F-CAM systems are expected to prevent thousands of truck accidents every year, only approximately three percent of all commercial trucks currently on the roads have them installed. If the federal government mandates F-CAM systems or similar technology for all newly produced commercial trucks, the number of accidents and injuries could be significantly reduced.
Seek assistance from an experienced Michigan truck accident attorney today
Whether or not their truck has an F-CAM, truck drivers have the responsibility to always drive safely to avoid injury to others on the road. If a truck driver is negligent and causes an override collision or any other type of collision, that driver and the trucking company should be held liable for any losses they cause. At the offices of Michigan Injury Lawyers, we work to protect the rights of injured victims. Please call 888-204-8471 for a free consultation with a skilled truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.