Technology could prevent tractor-trailer wrecks

A tractor trailer sits on top of a crushed car after a multiple car accident on I-16 in Pooler, Ga. on Tuesday, May 19, 2015. (Ian Maule/Savannah Morning News via AP)
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A tractor trailer sits on top of a crushed car after a multiple car accident on I-16 in Pooler, Ga. on Tuesday, May 19, 2015. (Ian Maule/Savannah Morning News via AP)
A tractor trailer sits on top of a crushed car after a multiple car accident on I-16 in Pooler, Ga. on Tuesday, May 19, 2015. (Ian Maule/Savannah Morning News via AP)

A tractor trailer sits on top of a crushed car after a multiple car accident on I-16 in Pooler, Ga. on Tuesday, May 19, 2015. (Ian Maule/Savannah Morning News via AP)

Federal policy makers are weighing a number of trucking regulations this year, including a federal rule that would require collision avoidance systems.

Highway safety advocates say the horrendous truck crash near Savannah that resulted in five deaths on Tuesday and the five-fatality truck wreck that killed five Georgia Southern University nursing students on April 22 might have been prevented if the trucks had a collision avoidance system. The technology, already used by some trucking companies, applies the brakes and stability control whenever a vehicle is quickly closing on another object.

A coalition of trucking safety organizations filed a petition in February asking Congress to require collision avoidance systems on all heavy trucks.

“We believe this technology probably would have avoided the crash altogether,” said Steven Owings, who founded Road Safe America after his son Cullum was killed in a crash with a tractor-trailer in 2002. “We’ve seen it demonstrated and its amazing. The crash should at least have been much less violent and at least people wouldn’t lose their lives.”


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