The number of trucking fatalities and injuries on United States roadways has risen 11 percent in the past year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Weighing in at 80,000 pounds fully loaded, it takes a semi nearly the length of two football fields to stop when travelling at 65 miles per hour. The damage caused by large trucking accidents is almost always devastating.
Trucking manufacturers are starting to take note, introducing new safety features in their latest fleets to help reduce the number of large truck accidents and save precious lives on roadways. The following are some of the changes that may keep motorists safer on Missouri roadways:
· Cameras – Many trucks are being fitted with in-cab cameras. These cameras live-stream activities in the cab and record dangerous road conditions or dangerous trucker behavior. Truck companies are also using them as training tools to correct bad behaviors and reward good ones. Already, trucking companies that use them have had a significant reduction in accidents. For one company, the number of accidents fell by 34 percent.
· Electronic stability control systems – Unbalanced loads can lead to rollover accidents. Today’s available electronic stability control systems detect when trucks are in danger of rolling.
· Collision mitigation systems – Collision mitigation systems detect when a truck is leaving their lane or in danger of an accident. These systems alert the driver as well as deploy an automatic brake system to avoid crashes. Some systems even employ an automatic cruise control that adjusts the speed of the truck to conditions on the road.
These safety features are designed to correct some of the human negligence that leads to truck crashes, such as truck driver fatigue or distraction. But equipment failures are also a major cause of truck accidents. There is much more large truck manufacturers and trucking companies can do in this regard.
The first is a switch in the braking mechanism. Most large trucks have drum brakes, which wear out quickly and can overheat and fail. Disc brakes by comparison last longer and can even reduce the stopping distance for large trucks. However, many trucking companies do not use disc brakes because they are more expensive than drum brakes.
The second change is to improve the strength of under-ride guards. Under-ride guards are supposed to prevent passenger cars from driving under a large truck in the event of an accident. When the guards fail, the occupants in the cars often die. Better underride guards, therefore, can save lives.
People who are injured in a trucking accident or whose loved one dies in a trucking accident should consult with a skilled personal injury attorney to make sure their interests are protected and they recover financially for the damages they suffered.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.
Authored by: Gray, Ritter & Graham, P.C. posted in Truck Accidents on Monday, November 14, 2016.