California big rig drivers should know that the number of fatal crashes in their industry has gone up over the years. There was a 52.6% increase in fatal large-truck crashes from 2009 to 2018 with the latter year seeing a total of 4,415 such incidents. Various factors explain this rise, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is planning to conduct a study on them. It made the formal proposal in January 2020.
The FMCSA sent Congress the results of its last large-truck crash causation study in 2006, so an update is clearly necessary. Researchers will be looking into the impact that phone use, especially calling and texting, has had on truckers. Driver behavior has also been influenced by the presence of in-cab navigation systems and fleet management systems.
Another change is that safety features like automatic emergency braking are unintentionally making drivers complacent and inattentive. This will be an issue in the future when automated driving systems start becoming common on commercial fleets. The FMCSA intends to create crash avoidance strategies for all large trucks, even those with Level 4 or 5 automation. These levels denote high and full automation, respectively. For their data, researchers will look at on-board electronic systems, which record when truckers speed, brake hard or drift out of their lane.
Speeding is just one example of negligent driving. When truck drivers cause a crash, people who have been harmed may seek the guidance of a Costa Mesa truck accident injury compensation law firm. Truck accidents can lead to catastrophic injuries, and innocent victims have a right to be compensated for the medical treatments they will need as well as for other damages such as lost wages.