The rate of road deaths involving the heaviest tractor-trailers has risen by almost 6% during the past few years. Accidents involving 18 wheelers, or semi-trailer trucks, are generally more serious, and dealing with the aftermath can be complex. Although commercial vehicles are already subject to stricter standards, with the addition of safety features specifically designed for use in large trucks, it has been shown that driver awareness can be increased and the number of accidents involving large trucks reduced.
Collision Warnings Prevent Crashes
Despite a general decrease in the number of motor vehicle accidents over the past couple of years, the number of 18 wheeler accidents has increased. Due to their size and weight, large freight trucks can cause much greater damage, crushing passenger vehicles and causing life threatening, or even fatal, injuries. Accidents often occur when large trucks drive into the back of other vehicles. However, new research has found that over 40% of rear-end crashes could be avoided with the addition of automatic braking systems and collision warning technology.
Intelligent Assistance Systems Limit Speeding
When these safety elements are fitted to trucks, the speed at which crashes occur is also more than halved, lessening the resulting damage and injuries. Over 20% of fatal truck accidents involve speeding, and the number of speeding violations recorded has been consistently rising over the past few years. Last year, a long delayed senate bill put forward the proposal that trucks already fitted with speed limiters should have them set to a maximum limit of 65mph. In the meantime, most logistics companies already fit their trucks with intelligent speed assistance systems that prevent travel over a certain speed, in order to promote the safety of their fleet.
Dashcams Reveal Distracted Driving
Adjusting infotainment systems, texting on a phone, or eating and drinking can all take a truck driver’s attention away from the road, and over a fifth have been injured in a distracted driving incident. New technology that uses telematics data and AI connected to dashcams can assess motoring techniques and provide feedback to drivers and their employers. This is proving useful in alerting truckers to bad driving habits, and helping them to change their behavior in the cab.
Large commercial trucks continue to put lives at risk on the roads. The addition of driver technology serves to limit risky and dangerous behavior, reducing the number of serious accidents on the road.