A crash between a passenger car and an eighteen-wheeler often leaves the occupants of the smaller vehicle with devastating injuries.
However, a recent study finds that the installation of advanced safety technology in large trucks can dramatically reduce truck-car collisions.
Too many crashes
In 2015, there were over 400,000 roadway crashes involving large trucks across the U.S. These accidents resulted in more than 4,000 fatalities and 116,000 injuries. In 2019, in the state of Louisiana alone, large truck crashes caused 106 fatalities and 2,740 injuries. A study undertaken by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows how four advanced safety features installed on trucks could significantly curb the incidents of truck-car collisions.
A big rig might collide with a smaller vehicle for various reasons. For example, poor maintenance can allow wear and tear to culminate in defective brakes or blown-out tires. Overloading cargo is a dangerous practice that can cause the truck to be unbalanced and prone to jackknifing or rolling over. Any issue that makes a large truck difficult to control can put nearby vehicles in extreme danger.
The AAA study highlighted four advanced safety technologies that could benefit truck drivers:
- Warning systems: To alert the driver when the truck drifts out of its lane
- Air disc brakes: To provide both performance and maintenance advantages over drum brakes
- Automatic emergency braking system: To detect when the truck is too close to the vehicle in front of it and to apply brakes automatically if necessary
- Video-based safety monitoring system: To monitor driver performance and behavior through use of an onboard camera and other sensors
Motorists can help keep themselves safe by leaving large trucks plenty of room to maneuver, switch lanes and stop. However, the goal of advanced safety technology is to prevent collisions. The AAA study indicates that the video-based safety monitoring system alone has the ability to prevent up to 63,000 crashes annually along with 17,733 injuries and almost 300 fatalities.