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Safety groups push for truck safety rules with crash data

Commercial trucks move many of the goods flowing into California ports throughout the country. To reduce truck accidents, traffic safety activists, such as Road Safe America and the Truck Safety Coalition, have renewed their efforts to obtain meaningful federal regulations. They have been presenting crash data to lawmakers in the hopes of gaining laws that require heavy-duty commercial trucks to use speed limiters and automatic emergency braking systems.

The president of Road Safe America said that the U.S. Department of Transportation had done nothing for 12 years and now safety advocates were turning to Congress and President Trump. If lawmakers do nothing, the president could tell the DOT to create regulations.

Activists are backing up their requests with a study from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Research on trucks that do not use speed limiters indicates that they have twice the crash rate due to speeding than trucks limited to speeds of 65 mph. Other studies show that automatic emergency braking prevents over 2,500 truck wrecks every year.

Truck accidents often inflict serious damage on passenger vehicles and their occupants. In addition to pain and suffering, a truck accident victim might face temporary or permanent disability that undermines long-term income. On top of coping with medical issues, a person might need to convince a trucking company and its insurer to pay a personal injury settlement. Legal representation could improve a person's ability to communicate a claim and challenge attempts to avoid responsibility. An attorney might also know how to investigate a crash and possibly find evidence of speeding, driver fatigue, poor truck maintenance or violations of trucking regulations that could demonstrate liability for injuries. An attorney may opt to manage discussions with an insurance adjuster or file a lawsuit when a court needs to be involved.

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