Safety Efforts That Can Help Prevent Devastating Truck AccidentsJuly 18, 2018
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 4,300 people were killed, and thousands more injured, in truck accidents in 2016. In recent years, there have been a number of effective advances in safety technology, including forward-collision warning (FCW) and automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems that can prevent many of these tragic accidents from occurring.
Unfortunately, as of 2015, only a small percentage of commercial truck fleets in the U.S. were fitted with these safety features. Safety advocates and members of the truck industry must take more proactive steps towards manufacturing trucks with the latest technology available, and retrofitting older models with the appropriate safety features.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that approximately 107,000 crashes per year could be either prevented, or made less severe, if FCW and AEB systems, as well as blind-spot warning (BSW), lane-departure warning (LDW), and stability control were onboard the truck.
When an 80,000-pound tractor-trailer is involved in a crash, particularly when the other vehicle is a car, SUV, or smaller truck, the consequences can be devastating, according to Consumer Report’s Director of Auto Testing. Ideally, these features should come standard on all trucks.
Driver Behavior is Part of The Problem
While safety technology can help prevent many truck accidents, they cannot prevent unsafe behaviors like distracted driving, drowsy driving, and drunk driving. These behaviors are responsible for many of the truck accidents that occur each year.
Unfortunately, when a car driver causes an accident because he or she was staring at their phone, they are also more likely to be the one who suffers the most severe injuries when the accident involves a large truck.
In addition to advanced safety features, safety officials have proposed lowering the speed limit for trucks as another way to reduce the number of crashes. Improved trailer guards can also prevent passenger vehicles from sliding under a truck in a collision. In addition, more trucks are using onboard electronic logging devices to track their hours of service, which can help prevent drowsy driving accidents.
Those who oppose government-mandated safety systems say that fleets should be able to determine which technology works best for their operations. Cost is another factor. A new truck can cost up to $160,000, so many owner-operators cannot afford to buy a new truck with all the latest safety features already installed.
Many truck drivers and other members of the trucking industry believe that reducing the speed limit and providing more safety training are approaches that have been proven to work. Safety technology should not replace these approaches. Rather, they should be used in conjunction with them to make our roads as safe as possible.
Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Protect the Rights of Truck Accident Victims
If you have been seriously injured in a truck accident, do not hesitate to contact the highly skilled and experienced Baltimore truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We understand the devastating nature of a truck accident, and we are committed to protecting your rights and securing the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent truck accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.