Reducing truck-related accidents is an ongoing effort for trucking companies and their fleet managers.
Some experts believe that equipping large trucks with crash-avoidance systems and other safety features would help, but not all truck drivers buy into the technology.
A little background
Trucking companies are always looking at ways to reduce “preventable accidents,” the most frustrating kind of truck-related crashes since they do not have to happen. However, longer routes, new and inexperienced drivers and both outside and inside distractions are among the reasons truck crashes occur.
A 2017 study backed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety encouraged the installation of automatic emergency braking systems on all trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds. However, a 2016 study undertaken by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that drivIng behaviors did not change for many of those with trucks that utilized these emergency braking systems.
Along with the braking system, the newest safety technology includes collision avoidance and warning systems, dash camera and rearview camera systems, roll-over stability controls and radar-sensing cruise control. Other safety features include blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning, lane-keep assist and rear parking sensors. Some drivers reject the in-vehicle safety features as being too distracting.
Risks to motorists
Truck-car collisions can result in devastating injuries or death to the occupants of the smaller vehicles involved. Fleet managers believe that a driver’s acceptance of safety features depends on sufficient training in the proper use of technological advances.
The National Transportation Safety Board puts the elimination of distracted driving and the addition of collision avoidance systems at the top of its list of ways to reduce preventable truck-related accidents.