Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration introduced new braking standards for truck tractors. Whereas the old standard required tractor-trailers moving at 60 mph come to a full stop within 355 feet, the new standard mandates a complete stop within 250 feet.
The federal agency estimates that this new standard will decrease the number of US truck accidents each year, preventing 300 serious injuries and saving 227 lives each year while reducing property damage expenses by more than $169 million a year. The new standard will be phased in over a four-year period starting with 2012 models and will hopefully accelerate the implementation of the newest brake technology into the country’s freight hauling fleets. According to the NHTSA, truck tractors make up about 99% of the fleets.
The NHTSA says there are several simple solutions that truck manufacturers can put into place to satisfy the final rule requirement, including using air disc brakes, enhanced drum brakes, or hybrid disc systems. The new truck brake requirement will hopefully play a role in continuing the overall decline in US truck crashes that occurred last year when 4,299 people died in large truck crashes—a 12% drop from the 4,822 truck accident fatalities that occurred in 2007.
Large truck crashes continue to claim too many lives in Maryland and the rest of the US. Because of this, many trucking companies are prepared to minimize liability over their alleged role in causing a Maryland truck accident. This is why it is important that you have your own Maryland personal injury team in place that will know how to protect your rights to recovery.
Tough New Braking Rules For Large Trucks Will Save Hundreds of Lives Annually, NHTSA, July 24, 2009
NHTSA to require trucks cut stopping distance, Tire Business, July 24, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Read the Final Rule (PDF)
2008 Traffic Safety Annual Assessment, NHTSA, June 2009 (PDF)