Feroleto Law, Buffalo NY

Protect the Public-Make Big Rigs Safer

Yesterday, we discussed allowing vehicles to talk to each other. The recommendation, in part, stems from two school bus accidents. In New Jersey last year a dump truck crashed into the rear left side of the school bus in an intersection spinning the bus into a pole. The bus accident killed an 11-year-old girl and seriously injured others. The next month a tractor-trailer truck hit the side rear of the school bus, spinning the bus around. This bus – truck accident caused the death of the child and seriously injured other children.

“This technology, more than anything else holds a great promise to protect lives and prevent injuries.” Debra Herstman, chair of the NSTB has stated. This is particularly true of intersection accidents, T-bone accidents and side impact crashes. From 2002- 2011 approximately 87,000 people were killed in intersection accidents. This accounted for 22% of all traffic fatalities.

Let’s face it, some the drivers aren’t paying attention, maybe texting, talking on the phone, tired, aggravated or otherwise distracted. Mandating use of the technology, particularly in big rigs such as tractor-trailers, 18 wheelers and other large trucks would be a good start. They represent a small  percentage of the vehicles on the road, but are involved in a disproportionate percentage of fatal accident  and serious injury collisions.  The sooner the better.