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Trucking accidents and autonomous driving technology

Ohio motorists may in the future benefit from a new collision mitigation system that is designed to help truck drivers avoid rear-end collisions. When a vehicle stops suddenly, large 18-wheeler trucks do not always have the time to avoid a collision. New technology alerts drivers to an impending collision and, if the driver does not respond in time, the technology takes over control of the steering system in an attempt to avoid the other vehicle.

Truck part suppliers ZF and WABCO have teamed up to build upon existing autonomous driving technology, creating the Evasive Maneuver Assist system. The EMA technology allows trucks to autonomously steer around suddenly stopped vehicles to avoid a rear-end accident. If there are other vehicles in adjacent lanes, the truck will instead brake fast and thus mitigate the effects of an eventual collision.

The innovation combines existing technology from both WABCO and ZF. The combined EMA system, which is expected to be fully available no later than 2020, uses sensory data, such as radar and other signals, to detect speed and road conditions to provide more accurate maneuvering.

Due to their large size, big rigs are often difficult to maneuver. Truck drivers who are distracted, sleep-deprived or otherwise not vigilant are the cause of far too many accidents each year that often result in catastrophic and sometimes fatal injuries to occupants of other vehicles. In other cases, negligent truck maintenance is the cause of an accident. When it can be demonstrated that a collision was the result of negligence on the part of the truck driver or trucking company, an attorney can often assist an injured victim in pursuing appropriate compensation.

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