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New bill proposes AEB mandate for commercial trucks

Automatic emergency braking systems can save lives in Florida and across the U.S., especially if they are installed on commercial trucks. This is the belief of the Truck Safety Coalition and of the three congresspeople who introduced a bill, H.R. 3773, in the House of Representatives on July 16. This bill is called the Safe Roads Act of 2019 and would mandate AEB installation and use on all new commercial vehicles.

One of those congresspeople had proposed a similar bill in 2015, which did not pass. Since an AEB system costs about $500, some trucking companies might struggle to afford it for their fleets. The matter is still under deliberation.

Two of the congresspeople have introduced another bill under the instructions of the Truck Safety Coalition. This one, called the INSURANCE Act, would require regular adjustments to the minimum requirements for motor carriers' insurance based on the inflation rate of medical costs as set down by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Truck Safety Coalition is pushing for more than mandatory AEB use. It has also advocated the use of speed limiters, which are on all trucks built since 1992, and has called for all trucks to be equipped with front and side under-ride guards.

Truck collisions often end in serious injuries, if not fatalities, and the presence of safety features cannot always prevent them. Truckers may disengage certain features and drive while distracted, drowsy or impaired by alcohol. Victims of a trucker's negligence may be able to seek compensation from the trucking company, but they might wish to hire a lawyer before they do so. Once the case is ready, their lawyer may negotiate on their behalf, litigating if a settlement cannot be agreed upon.

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