New Truck Safety Features Can Prevent Omaha Truck Accidents
The emergence of self-driving cars and other automated driving features has raised important questions about vehicle safety in America. Strong evidence suggests new safety technology has the potential to significantly slash the number of truck accidents that occur annually. While trucking companies do not have a legal obligation to install all the latest, cutting edge technology in their entire fleet, they do owe a duty to take reasonable measures to ensure their trucks and drivers are operating safely.
An Omaha truck accident attorney can help crash victims determine whether a breach of this duty was the cause of a truck accident, which is grounds to seek compensation for injuries.
The Facts About Truck Safety Features
According to AAA, truck accidents were responsible for the deaths of over 4,000 Americans in 2015 alone. An additional 116,000 people were injured in truck accidents that year. The AAA Foundation for Public Safety issued a report on the efficacy of new truck safety features in order to determine whether such features could reduce these numbers. This study examined four safety features for large trucks to determine the costs and benefits of each. The features investigated were:
- Lane departure warning systems,
- Automatic emergency braking,
- Air disc brakes, and
- Video-based on-board safety monitoring.
These four systems were projected to save a total of 500 lives each year, which is more than 10 percent of the total truck accident deaths reported in 2015. Researchers opined these safety systems also have the potential to prevent more than 75,000 collisions involving trucks annually.
This is important in light of tragedies like we saw in Omaha in October, when two 23-year-old men on their lunch break were killed when a concrete truck tipped over onto their car, stopped at a red traffic light. Omaha.com reported law enforcement was exploring the possibility the driver had been traveling too fast for conditions and tipped upon trying to swerve away from a collision.
The Nebraska Laws Which Govern Truck Safety
There are many state laws and federal regulations in place improve truck safety on the roads of Omaha. The Nebraska State Patrol Carrier Enforcement Division has issued a summary guide of these restrictions. They include state laws governing weights and measures, permits, and registrations, as well as Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations governing commercial driver's license requirements, hours of service limitations, vehicle maintenance and required inspections.
In addition to the laws and regulations which apply to commercial vehicles operating in Nebraska, truck drivers are also subject to the traffic safety laws which apply to all Nebraska drivers. For example, Nebraska Revised Statutes §60-6,185 prohibits any motorist from driving on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions. Drivers must further take care to regard actual hazards as well as potential dangers in light of road conditions and the type of vehicle. In order to meet this legal obligation, truck drivers may need to slow down to compensate for the added weight or size of their vehicle and cargo load. Truck drivers must also follow the rules of the road for red lights, yielding the right-of-way at an intersection, seat belt use, making left turns, and other common traffic violations.
A truck driver who fails to meet requirements of federal regulations and state requirements for commercial vehicles, or local traffic restrictions can be deemed negligent, and therefore liable to pay damages to others who were hurt as a result. A transportation company which fails to properly train or supervise its drivers, or implement reasonable safety measures, can also be found negligent. With the advice of an Omaha truck accident attorney, accident victims are better able to fight for the compensation they deserve from negligent defendants.