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Lawsuits hope to force change re commercial vehicle accidents

Recently, two civil lawsuits were filed against two tractor manufacturing companies. Their focus is on prompting manufacturers to include available safety systems as standard equipment on large trucks. Victims of commercial vehicle accidents in Arizona and across the country often incur significant financial losses.

These civil actions were prompted by two fatal crashes caused by truckers failing to brake in time to avoid crashing into stopped traffic ahead of them. In both of these wrecks, the drivers were apparently distracted and did not take evasive measures in time. Sadly, for both the surviving victims and the families of the deceased victims, neither trucking company carried adequate insurance coverage to compensate the victims for their losses. In addition, neither of the tractors involved were equipped with the front-end warning systems that could have alerted the drivers to apply the brakes. 

The trucking manufacturers who are named in the separate suits, Daimler and Volvo, do have the technology available on their tractors. However, they make the safety features optional and offer credits to buyers who reject the equipment. In this country, neither front-end collision warning systems nor automatic braking are required by law, though both have been available for more than 10 years. 

Along with the pending civil actions, there is pending legislation for the U.S. Congress to consider that would require all trucking companies to carry a minimum of $5 million in collision insurance, a significant increase over current minimum amounts. If Congress passes this bill, the potential for increased costs in the event of an accident caused by a possible negligent truck driver, might translate into trucking companies seeking additional available safety features for their fleets. Arizona victims who have been injured in commercial vehicle accidents may be best served by consulting with an experienced attorney who can guide them in seeking just compensation for the losses they have sustained.

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