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AAA study shows how truck safety devices prevent crashes

According to a report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, lane departure warning and onboard, video-based systems; air disc brakes; and automatic emergency braking are the safety devices that can most effectively prevent truck-related crashes. Drivers in New Jersey and elsewhere in the U.S. tend to be wary of sharing the road with trucks and are naturally eager to see these measures put into use by trucking companies.

Onboard safety monitoring could prevent 63,000 crashes, and lane departure warning systems may be able to stop 6,372 accidents. Emergency braking could cause 5,294 fewer crashes, and air disc brakes may halt 2,411 collisions. Case studies have shown that 44 to 86 percent of safety-critical events could be prevented. On average, 500 deaths also could be avoided.

To come up with their estimates, the study authors relied on evidence from other published studies, crash data between the years 2010 and 2015 and recommendations from an advisory panel. This panel was composed of six individuals representing various industries, including an insurance company, a safety technology vendor and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

After reviewing the prices given by the technology vendor, researchers were confident that the safety benefits far outweigh the cost of implementing these devices. However, only larger trucking companies may implement all of them as the smaller operators will not be able to afford them.

Even with all these safety measures in place, there is still the risk of poor driver performance causing an accident. If a fatigued or intoxicated trucker injures another driver, the victim may have the grounds to file an injury claim. He or she can speak with a lawyer, who will likely assess the claim, determine if the victim contributed to the accident and estimate a settlement. Before negotiating with the trucking company's legal representation, an attorney could hire investigators to build up the case.

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