Semi trucks have the potential of causing catastrophic injury and fatality accidents, but technological safety advances are coming that may improve the safety of large trucks and reduce the risk of collisions. Some of the new technologies are already being used while others are in development. The advances include stability control, blind spot warning systems, lane departure warning systems, collision avoidance systems, antilock braking systems, rearview cameras, side monitor sensors and cameras and interior cameras. The industry is also looking to implement autonomous trucks, which should further reduce accidents involving large trucks. A Nashville truck accident attorney believes that the costs involved with installing and implementing the various technologies are minimal when compared to the benefits of lives being saved.
Cost and Benefit Analysis
While trucking companies might be concerned about the costs involved with retrofitting their fleets with safety technology features, the benefits far outweigh the costs. For example, installing a lane departure warning system on a truck costs around $700 to $800. When that is compared to the average truck accident injury payout ranging from $135,000 to $455,000 or the average truck accident fatality payout ranging from $855,000 to $1.3 million, it is clear that the cost is well worth the potential for accident avoidance.
Similarly, collision avoidance systems reduce the risk of fatality and injury accidents caused by large trucks rear-ending other vehicles by 20 to 25 percent. These systems are expected to reduce rear-end truck collisions by up to 60 percent with future collision avoidance system advances.
Statistics Demonstrate Need For Improvement
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 111,000 people were injured and 3,903 people were killed in large truck crashes in 2014. The NHTSA also reports that 121 large trucks caused fatality accidents in Tennessee in 2013, accounting for 8.6 percent of all of the fatal accidents in the state that year. Out of the people who died, 92 were occupants of other vehicles and 15 were non-vehicle occupants, including pedestrians and cyclists. A Nashville truck accident attorney believes that the need for safety improvements is clear in terms of the potential to save lives.
Safety technology advances for large trucks should be embraced and fully implemented. The NHTSA is currently considering regulations to mandate collision avoidance systems in large truck fleets. Doing so may potentially save many lives and help other people to avoid lifetimes of disabling conditions caused by accidents with large trucks.