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FMCSA plans new study on large-truck crash causation

The landscape of commercial trucking has changed over the years, and with that has come a change in why truckers get into accidents. For example, truckers in Georgia and across the U.S. have a lot more distractions to contend with than previously. To take these changes into account, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will be conducting a new large-truck causation study. The last time it did so was in the early 2000s.

The FMCSA issued its formal proposal in January 2020 and is seeking information on how to proceed with the study. The goals are already clear, though. Researchers will identify the factors in all tow-away, injury and fatal crashes that involved large trucks and were reported to the FMCSA. They will then aim to create strategies for crash avoidance and mitigation.

Researchers will be studying, among other things, the effect of phones, in-cab navigation systems and fleet management systems on driver behavior. They will likely gather the information generated by truckers' on-board electronic systems with regards to speeding, harsh braking and lane departures.

They will also consider what capabilities should be included in the automated driving systems that may be installed in commercial fleets in the future. The study may provide crash avoidance strategies even for vehicles with Level 4 (high) or Level 5 (full) automation.

Under laws coveringtruck accidents, victims of a crash can file a claim against the trucking company if they were the victims of a negligent truck driver. Negligent driving comes in various forms, ranging from intoxicated and drowsy driving to speeding and aggressive driving. In Georgia, plaintiffs in an accident case can recover damages if they are less than 50% at fault themselves. To see how strong a case they have, victims may want a lawyer to evaluate it.

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