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New electronic parking brake could eliminate rollaway accidents

Pennsylvania residents may be alarmed to learn that a study performed by a leading business consulting firm found that six out of 10 commercial vehicle fleet operators have experienced a rollaway situation within the last two years. A moving vehicle with no driver behind the wheel poses a serious threat to the safety of road users, and this is especially true when the vehicle involved is a commercial truck that can weigh as much as 40 tons. However, an Ohio-based commercial vehicle systems manufacturer claims that their new electronic parking brake has the potential to make this kind of incident a thing of the past.

The Intellipark parking brake developed by Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems prevents truck rollaways by engaging tractor and trailer air brakes automatically when drivers forget to do so. The system was unveiled in Atlanta on Sept. 26 at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show. The system relies on interlocks placed in truck seats, doors and seat belts, and it engages automatically when drivers open truck doors or exit their vehicles without first applying their emergency brakes.

Bendix says that their new electronic parking brake also features more ergonomic switches to make it easier for truck drivers to engage commercial vehicle air brakes. While Bendix was not ready to announce a date when the new parking brake would be available, the company did vow to provide regular updates about its development and introduction.

Establishing liability in truck accident lawsuits is not always straightforward, but truck drivers or logistics companies may find it difficult to deny negligence when road users have been killed or injured by an unmanned commercial vehicle. In situations like these, experienced personal injury attorneys may urge the defendants involved to settle lawsuits rather than face the costs, bad publicity and likely negative outcome of a trial.

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