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Thoughts on the new truck sensor technology just announced

Every motorist grips the steering wheel tightly when they see a big rig getting bigger in the rear-view. Trucks need greater distance to come to a stop. You cross your fingers and hope the driver is on top of his game.

Statistics show that the most common kind of truck accident is the rear-ender. With cars they're called fender benders, but when the vehicle crashing into you weighs 40 tons, the injuries can be extreme, catastrophic, even fatal.

The technology, developed by trucking industry supply companies ZF and WABCO, is called Evasive Maneuver Assist (EMA). It nearly makes conventional braking systems obsolete.

Put simply, if the sensors on the EMA see that a crash is imminent, the truck is made to steer around the vehicle ahead of it. The driver has nothing to do with it.

ZF, at the EMA project's unveiling in June, announced that the EMA system should be deployable in just three to four years.

We caution that this technology will not make rear-ender truck accidents a thing of the past. We have seen this recently in the failure of Tesla vehicles to avoid crashes. The new technology will probably spur new kinds of accidents, which in turn will require new approaches for obtaining injury compensation.

These are the kinds of "out there" issues we at Rosenthal & Kreeger monitor, because this technology will be upon us soon. And we want to be ready for these fascinating changes that may turn the world of personal injury upside down.

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