Heavy traffic is nothing new for Dallas drivers who share rural roads and highways with trucks of all sizes.
A truck-car crash can result in devastating injuries, especially when the truck is a massive big rig. Can crash-avoidance systems and other safety features help truckers avoid collisions?
Concern for preventable accidents
Preventable accidents—those a driver could have avoided—plague trucking companies. Reasons for truck-related crashes include new and inexperienced drivers, in-vehicle distractions such as cell phones and tablets and longer routes. Drivers have quotas, which create pressure due to the need to reach destinations as quickly as possible.
Field study results
In 2017, a study conducted under the auspices of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute estimated that automatic emergency braking systems placed on trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds could prevent as many as 5,294 crashes each year. However, a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study found that truck drivers did not make any significant changes to their driving behavior if they were able to use a crash-avoidance system.
An additional distraction
Many truck drivers find new technology distracting. In addition to crash-avoidance systems, available safety features include forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist and active braking systems. The reticence to use such safety features means that there needs to be an increase in driver training with an integrated safety program focused on reducing preventable accidents.
A preventable truck-car crash can cause life-changing injuries. A victim has a right to expect a thorough investigation to determine how the crash occurred. Was the truck equipped with safety features? Was the driver distracted? Multiple parties may share responsibility for the crash and for compensation to cover the victim’s medical expenses, lost wages and more.