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How often do you end up on a highway surrounded by 18-wheelers and grip the steering wheel a little tighter? A study done by AAA found that 61 percent of U.S. drivers feel less safe sharing the road with large trucks because of their blind spots, large size, length, and tendency to drift out of their lane. Drivers and their passengers are correct to be concerned about sharing the road with truckers. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety truck crashes were the cause of 4,136 deaths in 2018. AAA believes that with more advanced technology installed on trucks an estimated 293 deaths could be prevented annually and that such technology could prevent upwards of 63,000 truck crashes across the nation.
There is evidence that lane departure warning systems could cut traffic collisions by half. As a result, this same type of technology is appearing in cars as well. The key is that this warning is only effective if the driver can respond. A driver who is asleep at the wheel will not be able to react to the warning system in time to correct and prevent a crash.
These monitoring systems use cameras and other sensors throughout the truck to record a driver’s behaviors. The idea is that an employer could get feedback and then provide remedial training or coach the truck driver to adopt safer habits on the road. For this to be fully effective, the monitoring system must be used by the employer to help make changes. It is not a safety feature for the monitoring system to simply be installed.
Air disc brakes are taking hold in the trucking industry, although the cost and weight have kept some companies from making the transition. These brakes have a decreased stopping distance compared to drum brakes and require less maintenance. Since trucks are often carrying heavy loads, one reason they are involved in more crashes is simply because it takes longer to stop once they have hit the brakes.
There has been a push to mandate automatic emergency braking systems on all trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of over 10,000 lbs. Having this technology could prevent accidents that occur when truck drivers follow too closely, improperly pass, or other rear-end collisions.
For all the safety features available to truckers, they still need to be awake and alert to drive to avoid causing collisions. Safety features can prevent crashes but once a collision occurs they do not prevent a driver from being held liable. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a road accident with a truck you can file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for the damages. A skilled San Jose truck accident attorney at Solution Now Law Firm can help you prove liability in your case. Contact us for a free consultation.
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