IIHS: Front Crash Prevention Works for Large Trucks

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Source: IIHS announcement

ARLINGTON, Va. – Equipping large trucks with forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems could eliminate more than 40 percent of crashes in which a large truck rear-ends another vehicle, a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) suggests.

IIHS Director of Statistical Services Eric Teoh examined data on crashes per vehicle mile traveled from 62 carriers operating tractor-trailers and other trucks weighing at least 33,000 pounds. He found that trucks equipped with forward collision warning had 22 percent fewer crashes and trucks with AEB had 12 percent fewer crashes than those without either technology. Forward collision warning and AEB reduced rear-end crashes — the specific type of collision they are designed to prevent — by 44 and 41 percent, respectively.

Although their drivers crash less often per mile traveled, large trucks can be especially deadly because they can weigh 20-30 times as much as passenger vehicles.

Related post:
IIHS: Pedestrian Crash Prevention Varies Among Midsize Cars

U.S. crashes involving large trucks have risen by nearly a third since hitting an all-time low in 2009, killing 4,136 people in 2018. Among those fatalities, 119 deaths resulted from large trucks rear-ending passenger vehicles.

Overall, Teoh’s study covered some 2,000 crashes that occurred over more than two billion vehicle miles traveled during 2017-19. The analysis excluded incidents that were not serious enough to result in injury or significant property damage.

“This study provides evidence that forward collision warning and AEB greatly reduce crash risk for tractor-trailers and other large trucks,” Teoh said. “That’s important information for trucking companies and drivers who are weighing the costs and benefits of these options on their next vehicles.”

Front crash prevention systems use cameras, radar or other sensors to monitor the roadway ahead. Some include only forward collision warning, which alerts the driver to obstacles in the roadway. AEB systems go further — automatically applying the brakes to prevent the collision or reduce its severity.

The European Union has required AEB with forward collision warning on most new heavy trucks since November 2013.

In the U.S., neither truck nor passenger-vehicle manufacturers are required to equip vehicles with any kind of front crash prevention. However, 20 automakers that account for 99 percent of the U.S. market are moving toward making AEB standard on virtually all new passenger vehicles by Sept. 1, 2022, under a voluntary commitment brokered by IIHS and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

For passenger vehicles, studies conducted by IIHS and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) have documented significant benefits from AEB.

An IIHS study of police-reported crashes showed that front AEB cuts rear-end crash rates in half and rear-end crashes involving injuries by 56 percent. Meanwhile, HLDI has found that AEB cuts property damage liability claims, as well as claims for injuries to people in other vehicles.

Further information about the study and the entire post can be viewed by clicking HERE.

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