Here is some news that our Arkansas car accident and personal injury attorneys are following closely: Truck Safety Coalition, the Center for Auto Safety, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, and Road Safe America, are petitioning for rulemaking with the Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). They are requesting to establish a safety regulation that requires the use of forward collision avoidance and mitigation braking systems (F-CAM) on all vehicles (trucks and buses) with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds (lb) or more.
The petitioners are convinced that F-CAM technology could result in significant safety, economic and societal benefits. Forward Collision Warning (FCW) is a vehicle-based safety system that generates a visual, audible, or vibration warnings for the driver if the driver’s vehicle comes within a predefined distance of a vehicle traveling in front of it. If the driver does not respond to the FCW alert signals, Collision Mitigation Braking (CMB) automatically applies the foundation brakes through the electronic stability control (ESC) system to reduce the impact speed or entirely prevent the collision. F-CAM systems are defined as forward looking radar-based systems that combine FCW alert signals with CMB automatic braking capability.
Over the past three years, there has been a significant increase in the number of deaths and injuries that occur in large truck collisions in the U.S. The number of fatalities has increased by 16 percent since 2009 and from 3,380 to 3,921 in 2012. In 2012 there were 317,000 large trucks involved in traffic crashes in the United States. Not only does this COST the lives of people, but there is a huge financial COST as well. For large truck involved crashes the average cost of a property damage crash is $15,114 but these average costs increase to $195,258 for non-fatal injury crashes and $3.6 million for fatal crashes. At an average cost of nearly $100,000 per crash involving a large truck.
While nearly every manufacturer is offering F-CAM systems on new vehicles, research shows that there are about 100,000 F-CAM systems INSTALLED in existing tractor-trailers on the road today. That represents less than 3 percent of the more than 3 million ‘standard’ tractor-trailers on the road today, and is an even smaller percentage of the nearly 11 million large trucks and buses registered in the U.S.
Based on the analysis by NHTSA which used system performance, crash data, and simulation work, the NHTSA study identified substantial benefits in terms of reductions in the number of fatalities, injuries and overall crashes involving large trucks striking other vehicles from the rear. NHTSA estimates that fleet wide adoption (mandatory regulation) of FG systems could save 166 lives per year. The number of INJURED PERSONS would fall by 8,361 per year.
The NHTSA relied on earlier work which CALCULATED the estimated cost associated with fatalities and various levels of injury. The costs included those related to medical costs, emergency services, property damage, lost productivity from delays, and total lost productivity. Overall, in economic terms, the range of benefits from F-CAM systems spans from $1.4 billion per year for the CG systems, to $2.6 for NG systems, and up to $3.1 billion per year for FG systems.
The NHTSA has publicly announced a 2015 timeline for completing additional research activities related to F-CAM technology for heavy vehicles. Research indicates that each year of delay is associated with the loss of as many as 166 lives and injury to over 8,000 individuals.
If you live in or around Little Rock, Arkansas and find yourself in need of an experienced car accident or personal injury attorney, our skilled lawyers can help. You can contact our offices online, or call us to schedule a case consultation: (888) 220-7068.