ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Holiday highway travelers and truckers, don’t get too comfortable yet.
Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s are among the three deadliest highway traffic holidays of the year. While Thanksgiving has passed, holiday travelers and professional truck drivers still face the dangerous challenges of Christmas and New Year’s.
AAA predicts that 97 million Americans will hit the road this holiday season, and crashes involving large trucks are tragedies for everyone involved – professional drivers, the motoring public, and all of their families and loved ones.
NATIONAL SURVEY: PUBLIC FAVORS SPEED LIMITERS, AUTOMATIC EMERGENCY BRAKING FOR BIG-RIGS
Road Safe America, a non-profit dedicated to improving highway safety for motorists and professional truck drivers, partnered with McLaughlin & Associates on a national survey that found broad support for requiring use of two existing safety technologies on large trucks: speed limiters and automatic emergency braking. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that more than 4,700 people died in truck crashes on U.S. highways in 2017, an increase of 41% since 2009.
“Use of speed limiters and automatic emergency braking technology can help professional drivers to complete their job and get home safely without incident, avoiding injury or death to themselves or others,” said Steve Owings, co-founder along with his wife, Susan, of Road Safe America. “As our roads and highways become more and more clogged, professional drivers need all of the technology available to help keep them safe and avoid crashes that are frequently horrific in nature for everyone involved.”
Speed limiters use simple software to set the top speed the truck can achieve, which assists the professional driver in slowing or stopping when an emergency occurs. Many other nations have required their use for decades, as they also enhance fuel efficiency. For these reasons they have come standard in the heaviest commercial trucks built since the 1990s, and therefore require no capital expense to include them.
NHTSA estimates that current automatic emergency braking systems can prevent more than 2,500 crashes annually. A proposed rule requiring use of speed limiters estimates as many as 498 lives could be saved annually by their use.
Andy Bowen, 404-822-3309