A recent report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety noted that adding advanced safety technology to 18-wheelers and other large commercial trucks could prevent up to 63,000 accidents a year.
There are nearly 500,000 accidents involving large trucks every year in the United States, with the rates rising every year. To keep everyone safe on the road, AAA recommends that these new safety technologies be installed on every new and existing commercial truck.
How Technology Could Make Trucks Safer
Some new technologies that can improve safety for trucks include:
- Air disc brakes – These advanced braking systems reduce the distance a truck requires to slow to a stop, allowing truckers to avoid a collision if something unexpected occurs. They could prevent up to 2,411 crashes, 1,447 injuries, and 37 deaths every year.
- Automatic emergency braking systems – These systems automatically engage the brakes if they detect that the vehicle is about to collide with something. They could prevent up to 5,294 crashes, 2,753 injuries, and 55 deaths every year.
- Lane departure warning systems – These systems detect when the truck is drifting into other lanes, which is a common problem for large trucks. They could prevent up to 6,372 crashes, 1,342 injuries, and 115 deaths each year.
- Onboard video monitoring systems – These systems monitor the road in front of the truck and what goes on inside the cab. The footage they record can then be used to show that a driver behaved in an unsafe manner. These systems act as a valuable deterrent to reckless or negligent driving. They could prevent up to 63,000 crashes, 17,733 injuries, and 293 deaths each year.
One in four adults in the United States reported that they would feel significantly safer driving alongside trucks that had these safety devices installed.
Significant Dangers Posed by Heavy Trucks
Extra safety features are necessary for commercial trucks because they pose an exceptional danger on the road. Some of the reasons they are so dangerous include:
- Size – The sheer size of most trucks makes them extremely dangerous if they are involved in an accident, particularly when the collision involves a passenger car. An 18-wheeler can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, compared to passenger cars which on average weigh only 4,000 pounds. When they collide with regular passenger vehicles, severe injuries and extensive property damage are often the result, and the car occupants usually fare the worst.
- No zones – The massive size of trucks means that there are large blind spots on every side where the driver cannot see. Truck drivers have a responsibility to be aware that vehicles may be in these “no zones,” but if they fail to do so and change lanes or turn without adequate signaling and warning, a serious injury accident could occur.
- Difficulty stopping – Because trucks are so heavy, it takes them far longer to slow down when they need to stop. A truck traveling at 65 mph can take up to 600 feet to stop, or the equivalent of two football fields. This means that if a passenger vehicle has to stop suddenly in front of a truck for any reason, the truck may not be able to stop in time to avoid hitting them.
How a Lawyer Can Help You After a Truck Wreck
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident in Dallas or elsewhere in Texas, you should contact the Texas truck accident lawyers of Tate Law Offices, P.C., for legal assistance right away. We can help you pursue financial compensation from the responsible party. Truck accidents are extraordinarily complicated, so you should not try to handle a claim on your own.
A lawyer can investigate your truck accident to determine the actual cause of the accident and identify the responsible parties. It is possible that more than just the driver could be held liable.
At Tate Law Offices, P.C., we work on a contingency fee basis, which means that our consultations are free, and you won’t owe us anything unless we win your case. To discuss your legal options, contact our team today by phone or online.