A recent report from the AAA concludes that installing safety technology on all large trucks could prevent more than 60,000 crashes each year and save lives. More than 3.5 million trucks travel U.S. highways. The study, titled “Leveraging Large Truck Technology and Engineering to Realize Safety Gains,” examined four types of advanced safety technology available to large trucks and did a cost-benefit analysis for each of them. According to the executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the benefits clearly outweigh the cost of adding the technology to existing truck fleets.
As part of the study, the AAA did a companion survey which found that 61 percent of motorists feel uncomfortable driving near large trucks because of their size and accompanying safety issues such as blind spots and difficulty maintaining lane position. Just over a quarter of the drivers surveyed said that knowing that trucks were equipped with advanced safety technology would improve how they feel about sharing the road.
The AAA did not conduct new research but instead reviewed the best available studies, along with data from 2010-2015 on large truck crash rates. They convened a panel of experts drawn from all areas of the industry including government entities, insurance, commercial operators, and a safety technology vendor.
In 2015, the number of accidents involving large trucks was up 4 percent from the previous year. These 400,000 accidents resulted in 116,000 injuries and more than 4,000 deaths. The AAA study presented estimations of how many lives could be saved each year by each type of technology examined in the study.
The AAA hopes that the study will raise awareness of the new technologies for truck safety and alleviate the apprehensions commonly felt by motorists driving on highways near large trucks. Some large fleets have already begun using the video-based onboard safety monitoring systems and other technologies while smaller companies and independent drivers have lagged on installation due to the cost. Besides identifying potentially dangerous driving behaviors and preventing accidents before they happen, video-based systems have the added benefit of helping fleet owners improve efficiency. The cameras also capture accident data and can help determine who was at fault in a crash.
The director of Traffic Safety Advocacy and Research at AAA says that use of the advanced safety technologies is a “win-win” for everyone. Drivers feel safer knowing that the trucks have safety technology installed, crashes can be prevented, and the technology is cost-effective for trucking fleets.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident caused by the negligence of another person, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact a Delaware County truck accident lawyer at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. to discuss your legal options. An initial consultation is always free so call 610-565-3700 today or contact us online. We have convenient locations in Media and West Chester to serve clients throughout the greater Philadelphia area, Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.