Why Trucks Should Be Required to Have Automatic Emergency Brakes

Automatic Emergency Brakes (AEBs) were first offered by Toyota in 2003.

After almost 15 years this technology has leapt forward at amazing rates – from a pipe dream to standard crash prevention. Since 2015 the U.S. Department of Transportation has specifically considered the effectiveness of AEBs in each new car model before awarding five-star safety ratings. AEBs come standard in new car models from Audi, BMW, Ford, GM, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.

In 2016 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated that large trucks are the striking vehicles in approximately 32,000 crashes, resulting in 300 deaths and more than 15,000 injuries annually. Also according to the NHTSA, automatic emergency brake systems are capable of preventing nearly 60 percent of these deaths and injuries.

Despite widespread endorsement of this new technology’s capabilities and effectiveness from across the trucking industry (most notably the American Trucking Associations), The NHTSA still does not require that newly manufactured trucks feature automatic emergency braking systems.


Because, as we’ve seen for decades, outspoken trucking industry advocates take up arms against any new safety regulations that will cost money. The trucking industry opposed seat belts when they were first introduced – likewise driver drug screenings, electronic logging devices, side guards, rear guards and trailer size limits.

As they’ve argued against safety regulations in the past, the trucking industry says that AEBs require more research before being regulated as standard equipment. While we agree that research is extremely important, it’s been well established that as the technology stands today, AEBs save lives.

We encourage anyone worried about their safety on the road to contact their state representative’s office about AEBs, and other trucking industry safety issues.

However, if you or a loved one has already been in a truck crash, it is very important to contact an attorney immediately, before speaking to any insurance representatives.