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New technology promises fewer truck accidents

Ohio drivers can readily see the benefits to improved safety technology on our roads. From backup cameras on our SUVs to cutting edge emergency brake systems, safer cars mean fewer accidents on Ohio highways. However, it's not only families on their way to soccer practice that need the protection of advanced safety features. Professional drivers also benefit from better technology, particularly when they are driving large vehicles like buses or semi-trucks, which can cause huge amounts of damage in the event of a crash.

Federal transportation officials are looking at all of the options to help reduce injuries and fatalities in the event of a truck accident. Both state and federal policies influence the features that must be installed on commercial vehicles, and regulators are working with private sector developers to figure out what the best standards for safety are.

One new feature will help police and industry regulators more effectively track truck companies and drivers who are not complying with the law. The technology will scan a truck's license plate and Department of Transportation registration number and process that information through a national database in just seconds. When the results appear on the screen, the officer will know if that particular truck needs to be inspected because of past violations, or whether they have recently been checked and passed inspection at another location. This will allow officers to more effectively chose the trucks that they inspect and intercept high-risk situations sooner.

Officials estimate that using this identification technology is projected to help authorities prevent up to 21,000 more accidents each year.


Both drivers and truck owners may be liable in the event of an accident. Particularly when the driver has been negligent or the company was not following proper safety procedures, accident victims have a right to pursue damages.

Source: USA Today, "Rolling out technology to keep trucks moving," Larry Copeland, Oct 19, 2012.

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