Large commercial trucks are an important part of our economy, but they are also the source of destructive and deadly accidents. In 2016, 4,564 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks or buses. Florida is among the top 10 states for most fatal large truck crashes. A number of factors can lead to truck crashes, including impaired driving, distracted driving, speeding, following too closely, truck maintenance failure, and driver fatigue. But there are a number of truck safety features that are currently on the market that may play a role in significantly reducing the number of truck accidents. According to a AAA Foundation study, truck safety technology can prevent up to 63,000 crashes per year. The technology reviewed by the AAA Foundation included:
Lane Departure Warning
Systems that warn a driver when the truck is drifting out of its lane can prevent a significant number of crashes. Based on lane line markings, lane departure warning systems provide drivers with a visual or audible warning when they begin crossing into another lane. According to the AAA Foundation, the use of lane departure warning systems in commercial trucks can prevent 6,372 crashes and potentially 115 deaths annually.
Video-based Onboard Safety Monitoring Systems
Video-based onboard safety monitoring systems use cameras and other sensors inside the truck to monitor a driver’s behavior and performance while driving. These systems help the driver’s employer to provide feedback on the driver’s performance. Use of the system can hold drivers accountable and lead to safer driving behavior. The AAA Foundation estimates that the use of these systems can prevent up to 63,000 accidents per year and 293 deaths.
Automatic Emergency Braking Systems
Automatic emergency braking systems combine forward-looking sensors, driver alerts, and automatic vehicle braking to prevent rear-end collisions. Sensors detect a vehicle within a preset distance and alert the driver. If the driver does not react, the automatic braking system will engage and stop the truck to prevent or mitigate a crash. The AAA Foundation found that these systems could prevent 5,294 crashes and 55 deaths annually.
Air Disc Brakes
Air disc brakes provide maintenance and performance advantages relative to traditional drum brakes. Compared to drum brakes, air disc brakes can reduce stopping distance by 40%. According to the AAA Foundation, the use of air disc brakes could prevent 2,411 crashes and 37 deaths annually.
While federal regulations do not currently require the use of these safety features, it is clear that they will save lives.
Contact a Trusted Attorney
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a large truck, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-800-753-5203 to schedule your free consultation.