The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a non-profit research organization committed to increasing road safety and reducing traffic deaths. The 60-year independent institution has helped inform U.S. traffic safety laws for a generation.

The IIHS recently published its findings from a new study on how advanced driving technologies can reduce truck crashes. How might these technologies save more lives?

Modern technologies help truckers maintain control

IIHS researchers found that two safety features could help prevent semi crashes. With automatic emergency braking and advanced collision warning systems, truckers could reduce crashes where the semi-truck rear-ends another vehicle by up to 40%. The IIHS also discovered that these systems not only reduced the chances of a collision, but the risk of injury. In trucks equipped with these technologies, damage and injuries occurred half as often, as the systems significantly reduced a truck’s speed before the point of impact.

In response, the IIHS has asked U.S. lawmakers to require truckers to equip these technologies. Several fleet operators have already begun implementing changes.

The studies examined data from over 60 U.S. trucking companies that employ semis. Over two billion miles between 2017 and 2019, about 2,000 crashes involved semi-trucks. Altogether, 22% fewer crashes involved trucks with collision warning systems than those without, 12% fewer crashes involved trucks with automatic emergency braking.

Skepticism among professionals

Though the data proves promising, two federal agencies will review the research before recommending new regulations. However, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) believes the data to have overlooked real-world factors like experience and a driver’s safety record. The American Automobile Association (AAA) also dissents from the IIHS findings, claiming these technologies do not work consistently enough to recommend their universal use. The IIHS maintains that these technologies still reduce the severity of crashes overall, with only more improvements on the way.

Injured in a truck accident? Consider contacting a lawyer

Those injured in an accident with one of these massive vehicles find more success securing damages by working with a local attorney familiar with New Mexico’s truck laws. A lawyer can assess the case, parse through dense insurance paperwork and draw up settlement paperwork.