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New large-truck crash study from FMCSA announced

Large-truck crashes claim the lives of thousands of people every year, and the number of these fatal crashes has risen a startling 52.6% between 2009 and 2018 according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Residents of Texas may be wondering about the reasons behind this increase. This is precisely what the FMCSA will be investigating in a new study.

In January 2020, the FMCSA made a formal proposal and has asked for feedback on how best to proceed with the study. Among other things, the organization is asking to what extent the findings of this new study should be comparable to those of the previous large-truck crash causation study made between 2001 and 2003.

The new study will cover tow-away, injury and fatal accidents reported to the FMCSA and determine the baseline of factors in these crashes. One factor is distracted driving caused by calling and texting behind the wheel, by in-cab navigation systems and fleet management systems and by safety features like automatic emergency braking.

Researchers also intend to see how identifying these crash factors will help them develop crash avoidance strategies for automated driving systems in the future. They hope the strategies will be effective even for vehicles with Level 4 or 5 automation, which stand for high and full automation.

Regardless of what technology is present in their rigs, truckers must be alert at all times and never act as if their rigs were self-driving. If they become negligent and cause a wreck, then their company may have to pay out a significant amount in compensation to the victims. Compensation may cover things like medical expenses, vehicle replacement costs, pain and suffering and emotional trauma. To present a strong case and work toward a fair settlement out of court, victims may consider hiring an attorney.

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