Tractor Trailer and Eighteen Wheeler Braking Standards Mean Fewer Wrongful Deaths

The National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration recently announced rigorous new rules which are anticipated to save many lives. The braking standards mandate that eighteen wheelers and other tractor-trailers be able to come to a complete stop when traveling at sixty miles per hour within 250 feet.

The rule which will be phased in over four years is an effort to nudge trucking companies in the direction of more modern braking technolgy. The standard reduces the present stopping distance requirements by 85 feet.

Estimates of the benefit of this change by the NHTSA are savings of 227 lives, 300 serious injuries and more than one hundred sixty nine million dollars in property damage.

This standard does not apply to buses or single-unit trucks.

NHTSA reports that the involvement of large commercial vehicles  in fatal crashes  has decreased in keeping with overall nation-wide trends.

In 2008, 4,229 people were killed in large truck crashes an overall reduction of 593 deaths from 2007.