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Technology that could save you from a truck wreck

Truck safety technology in action
Truck safety technology in action

Nearly 4,000 people are killed and more than 100,000 injured every year because of truck accidents. But what if those collisions could be avoided, or at the very least, mitigated?

A Volvo truck equipped with safety technology.
Dina Gusovsky | CNBC

Companies such as Volvo Trucks and Daimler are banking on safety as a selling point, offering customers everything from enhanced cruise control to lane departure warnings.

But the American Trucking Associations estimates that only about 10 percent of all trucks on the road have some kind of active safety technology.

Safety experts told CNBC that cost concerns, customer choice and slow regulators often prevent the introduction and enforcement of rules requiring all trucks to come equipped with certain safety technology.

Read MoreTruck accidents surge: Why no national outcry?

Such technologies include systems that allow truck drivers to set a speed that would prevent them from going faster than the car in front of them, or alerting drivers by setting off alarms when they do get too close. In some instances, the truck even does the braking for the driver.

Another technology is intended to help fatigued drivers who accidentally veer into the wrong lane to stay alert and get back into the appropriate one, lessening the chance of colliding with other vehicles on the road.

Still, a recent accident in Northern California that killed 10 people involved a 2007 Volvo FedEx Truck. National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Keith Holloway told CNBC that whether that truck had crash avoidance technology is still under investigation

Much of the new technology was put in the Volvo trucks in 2009, with active braking added in 2012.

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Daimler has demonstrated an autonomous truck, and the company has said it wants to see driverless trucks on the road by 2025.

Skeptics, though, say it will be a long time before Americans see self-driving trucks on the highways.

—By CNBC's Dina Gusovsky