The sheer size of trucks and difficulty with stopping can make a rear-end crash fatal. Drivers who slam into the back of trucks may also face serious injuries because trucks have more ground clearance. This may cause the front of the passenger vehicle to slide under the truck before taking off the top of the vehicle.
Many researchers believe that automatic emergency braking systems in trucks and passenger vehicles can make a difference. While this feature now comes standard on many vehicles, they are far less common on trucks.
The 2022 progress
Forbes reports that by 2022, most light trucks may have AEB technology installed. Unfortunately, several more years may pass before they become a norm in America. Meanwhile, even the European Union made strides in this area. It required forward-collision warning technology on all new vehicles.
The alleged reason for the reluctance to adopt the technology in America comes from the Department of Transportation. It reportedly wants more time to determine if the technology may prove safe for semi-trucks.
The commercial challenges
Researchers agree that AEB does a tremendous job of reducing collisions among passenger vehicles. Many professionals in the industry believe commercial vehicles will share the same benefits. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration granted the petition to start the process, but experts believe the process may continue to lag. The truth is that stopping a semi-truck quickly may cause instability if not properly programmed, so manufacturers may need more time to work out the kinks.
According to a study published by the National Library of Medicine, the occupants of passenger vehicles are 10 times more likely to sustain severe injuries, compared to truck occupants. As truck crash fatalities continue to climb, manufacturers may find themselves under increasing pressure to bring a big-rig AEB product to market.