Can New Truck Stopping Technology Prevent Accidents?Jacksonville Accident News
Whether you’re driving on the quiet roads of Florida or the busy interstates across the United States, it is inevitable to come across a commercial truck. These gigantic vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 pounds fully loaded, and just the sheer sights and sounds of one can be enough to intimidate even the most skilled drivers.
Florida semi-truck accidents can be devastating and leave a serious impact on a victim’s life. Fatalities from truck accidents have been on the rise since 2009. In 2018, there were 4,951 fatalities in the United States, roughly 13.5% of total traffic fatalities that year. It’s no wonder that many passenger vehicle drivers are wary of driving around semis.
What Can Cause a Truck Accident?
The most common cause of commercial truck accidents is driver error. Truckers have a heavy load to bear on their shoulders, and not just what they’re hauling in their trailers. The simplest mistakes could cause a truck driver their license, so they must be extra cautious while on the road. Some of the commonly seen errors a truck driver can make include:
- Taking A Turn Too Quickly- Commercial trucks are much taller than passenger vehicles which means they have a higher center of gravity. Turning too quickly can easily cause a truck to roll over.
- Drifting Into Another Lane- This can be caused by one of two things, drowsy driving, and distracted driving. Truck drivers need to pay close attention to the road at all times, so distractions like a cell phone or CB radio need to be avoided at all costs. Drowsy driving is a common theme among truckers, too. They drive for long hours and tend to keep going until they reach their destination.
- Not Stopping In Time- Semis need a much longer distance to stop than a passenger vehicle does. Miscalculations and poor judgment on distance can lead to a severe accident with serious injuries.
These and other driver errors can end in catastrophe. Truck accidents such as rollovers, rear-end collisions, jackknifes, and more can all be prevented. There are, however, new types of safety technology being tested and used for semis to help prevent serious truck accidents from occurring. Studies have shown that this technology if used properly, can help prevent up to 63,000 truck accidents each year.
Can Technology Help Prevent Truck Accidents?
In passenger vehicles, technology like lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and automated emergency braking systems have proven to be extremely effective when it comes to preventing car accidents. The new truck stopping technology is quite similar to these systems, but obviously on a larger scale.
By using either radar sensors and cameras to spot and identify objects on the road or multiple radar beams and advanced software, these systems can provide drivers with more information, earlier warnings, and allow for emergency intervention if necessary. Truck stopping systems can sound an alarm if an object is too close to the truck and if needed, and stop the truck before an accident occurs.
Every Piece of Technology Has its Problems
Even though this form of technology has been long overdue for the trucking industry, there are still some disadvantages that could come with it. Truckers could become too reliant on the advantages the technology brings and become easily distracted on the road. This could pose a serious threat to drivers across the country because even the best technology systems can malfunction and a serious accident could occur. The stopping technology is meant to help prevent accidents commonly caused by driver error, not eliminate them completely. Truckers are still urged to pay full attention to the road at all times to keep themselves and those they are sharing the road with safe.
Safety Tips for Motorists Sharing the Road With a Semi Truck
Just because there is new technology to help reduce the number of truck accidents, that doesn’t mean that every accident can be prevented. Motor vehicle operators also need to learn how to properly share the roadways with truckers to keep themselves and others around them safe. Some things that can be done to help prevent an accident with an 18-wheeler include:
- Allowing Extra Space- As mentioned above, a fully loaded semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Even with stopping technology, commercial trucks still need extra space to come to a complete stop.
- Avoid Blind Spots- A truck’s blind spots are much larger in comparison to a passenger vehicle. A good rule of thumb when approaching a semi-truck is if you cannot see the cab’s mirrors, it is likely that the driver is unable to see you.
- Avoid Distracted Driving- Cell phone usage and adjusting controls are the most common ways to become distracted while on the road. Such activities can steal your attention from potential dangers ahead.
While on the roads of Florida and across the United States, safety is everyone’s responsibility. Truckers have the responsibility to make sure they follow the laws in order to keep others around them safe. It is also the job of motorists to use these and other preventative measures to help keep themselves and others safe.
Working With an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney in Florida
Truck accidents are often fatal and always serious. These accidents can have a devastating impact on a victim’s life and also their families. At Sheftall Law, our truck accident attorneys understand how stressful and scary it is to be involved in a truck accident. Lost wages from having to miss work due to serious injuries and a diminished quality of life on top of the unexpected medical expenses that come from hospital stays and rehabilitation can be as devastating as the accident itself. With decades of combined experience, we have the legal knowledge necessary to take care of your needs and rights in these trying times and we will stand by your side until you receive the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a truck accident in Florida, please contact a truck accident attorney at Sheftall Law at (904) 569-6025 today to explore the legal options that are available to you and schedule an appointment.