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Possibility of fewer 18-wheeler crashes due to new requirements

Serious accidents involving large trucks and buses are an all too familiar sight on Tennessee roads. Hopefully, the gradual enforcement of a new federal rule, which was finalized mid-2015, is going to lead to a drastic decrease in bus and 18-wheeler crashes. Between 2017 and 2019, all tractor trucks and buses will gradually be required to have electronic stability control (ESC) systems installed.

ESC systems have been used in the manufacturing of passenger vehicles for some time. These systems have led to significant decreases in rollover accidents. By installing ESC systems in buses and big trucks, it is estimated that a minimum of 49 people can be saved, while 649 injuries and 1,759 crashes can be prevented per year. These figures can increase drastically should the equipment be 100 percent effective.

ESC may prevent rollover accidents, but can also intervene in certain cases where a trucker loses control of the truck, as the system measures directional stability in conjunction with wheel speed and lateral acceleration. This means a decrease in rollover accidents caused by hitting something at a high speed or traveling onto soft soil, as well as accidents caused by a trucker over-steering or under-steering. Although, the requirement may mean fewer truck accidents, it obviously cannot completely eliminate the risk.

While 18-wheeler crashes remain a problem in Tennessee, seriously injured victims of such an accident retain the right to file a personal injury claim. The legal estate of a deceased victim of a truck accident may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim. Monetary damages awarded from a successful civil claim could help the victim better cope with medical bills, rehabilitation costs and any lost wages due to missing time from work. Furthermore, a wrongful death claim may assist the family of a deceased victim to better cope with the often devastating financial consequences of a fatal truck accident.

Source: iihs.org, "Truck tractors, large buses to get ESC under new rule", Accessed on Jan. 26, 2016

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