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FMCSA announces new study into causes of large truck crashes

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued the results of a large-truck causation study in 2006. Now, it intends to conduct another study along the same lines, one that takes into account various changes over the previous decade. Truckers and other drivers in North Carolina should know that the FMCSA announced its intention in January 2020. It's now seeking info on how best to proceed with the study.

Among other things, the study will address the rise in distracted driving caused by smartphones, navigation systems and fleet management technology. It will also look at on-board electronic systems, which let drivers know how often they sped, departed from their lane or slammed the brakes. The information generated by these systems can help identify what activities put truckers at risk for a crash.

There's also the question of how safety features such as automatic emergency braking have benefited truckers while at the same time making them more complacent behind the wheel. It's not just technology that has changed over the previous decade. Roadway designs have changed, too, and driver behaviors along with them.

The purpose of the study is to create crash avoidance strategies. The FMCSA intends to do this even for vehicles with Level 4 (high) or Level 5 (full) automation.

Many truck accidents occur because of distracted, drowsy, drunk or simply unskilled drivers. Whenever there is clear evidence of negligence, injured victims may file a claim against the trucking company. Sometimes, of course, the fault may lie not with the trucking company but with the company that loaded the cargo or built a defective truck part. Whatever the nature of the case, victims may want an attorney by their side, especially at the negotiation table.

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John McCabe wrote "The Investigation and Analysis of Personal Injury Cases" in the best-selling book Personal Injury Practice in North Carolina. This is the book that other lawyers follow in handling personal injury cases.

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