New technologies over the past couple of decades have radically transformed vehicle safety. Reducing accidents involving large trucks is of utmost concern given the dangers these vehicles present on the road. Drivers and passengers in small vehicles are especially at risk of serious injury when colliding with a big rig as trucks typically weigh 20-30 times as much as passenger cars. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the number of large trucks involved in fatal accidents increased by 3 percent from 4,074 to 4,213 between 2015 and 2016. There were 3,986 deaths in 2016 resulting from accidents with large trucks. Passengers and drivers in cars accounted for 66 percent of those deaths.
There are a variety of causes of fatal truck crashes including driver error, substandard vehicle maintenance and equipment failure. Improvements in technology have addressed some of these issues and future advancements offer the possibility of significantly decreasing the rate of truck accidents. Some of the technological applications highlighted below have been in use for some time and others are in various stages of development.
Lane departure warnings. Truck drivers who are fatigued or distracted- both are major causes of truck crashes- may drift into adjacent lanes or drive completely off the road. New systems have sensors that can detect that the driver is not in his lane and produce sounds or vibrations to alert the driver that he is drifting.
Blind spot sensors. It can be difficult for truck drivers to see car drivers in their blind spots. Blind spot sensors can prevent a truck from turning or passing when a car is present or trigger an alarm to notify the driver that a car is near and it is not safe to steer the truck in that direction.
Self-driving trucks. The widespread use of self-driving trucks may greatly reduce the number of truck accidents and fatalities in the near future. With the truck’s operational system governed by algorithms and sensors, there is no risk of accidents resulting from driver error, fatigue, or distraction. Industry experts, including the NHTSA, have expressed confidence that self-driving technology will be instrumental in saving lives on the road.
Rear-end collision avoidance. A new technology designed to avoid rear-end collisions with trucks is in development. The technology will contain active braking technology to prevent rear-end truck collisions and additional features that can steer a truck around a stationery vehicle if the truck fails to stop in a timely manner.
If you or a member of your family suffered injury or death as a result of negligence or a defective automobile, contact the attorneys Alexander Law Group, LLP. Our exceptional personal injury lawyers will answer your questions and get you the maximum compensation that is possible. Call 888.777.1776 or contact us online.