Have you ever heard the saying “Share the Road.” Usually this is interpreted as an urge for motorists to be considerate to those traveling the roads alongside them. The types of vehicles that should be given much consideration are those that have the potential to bring about much damage, such as, tractor trailers, buses, and dump trucks. Have you ever driven beside an 18-wheeler and you are not sure whether they see you and you quickly accelerate? What about the instances when that same type of truck is tailing you on the freeway? Doesn’t that make you the least bit nervous?
Recently, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration petitioned to implement an innovative type of software that would be installed automatically in all new commercial vehicles that weigh 10,000 pounds or more. F-CAMs or forward collision avoidance and mitigation braking systems are equipped with the technology that will notify the driver when they are in close proximity of becoming involved in an accident. The system will allow sufficient time for the driver to brake on their own. However, in the event the driver fails to do so the system will activate a “follow-up” system, a Collision Mitigation Braking System or CMB that will take over operation of the entire vehicle and begin minimizing speed on its own. Advocates suggest that this mandate will significantly decrease the rate of death and injury involving large commercial vehicles. According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 691 large truck occupants were killed in 2013. While 2,834 other vehicle occupants were killed in accidents involving large trucks that same year. Although the technology is not able to prevent all accidents involving large trucks, they will mitigate the most common type which are vehicles that are rear-ended by these large trucks. F-CAM software is offered by most commercial dealers at an option. Advocates believe this mandate will ensure greater public safety and fewer fatalities. Out of the 3 million commercial vehicles on the road, it has been reported that only 3 percent of them are utilizing F-CAMS.
The new safety precautions will be welcomed in the State of Georgia, where the state ranks in the top five for area where the fatality rate involving commercial trucks is at its highest. In 2014, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reported 16,000 injuries and 157 deaths. In effort to combat the growing problem, Gov. Nathan Deal made the announcement that extra law enforcement will be appointed to police areas that have been described as “high crash corridors.” These areas exist near and around both Interstate 16 and 95.