Sharing the roadway with large commercial trucks is just something motorists have to do. Semi-trucks are often the best means a company or business has for transporting goods around the country. Still, when motor vehicle accidents happen that involve these large trucks, the resulting damage and injuries are often much worse than accidents that involve only passenger vehicles.
If you've or someone you care about has ever been unfortunate enough to be in an accident with a commercial truck here in Texas, you're probably all too aware of the dangers these vehicles can pose. One study found that truck accidents actually increased during 2018. Experts have offered theories as to why this might have happened and what drivers can do to lower the rate of future incidents.
Why are the rates of truck accidents going up?
With advancements in technology, you might assume that accident rates would go down instead of what actually occurred last year. Experts say that an increase in the mileage of medium-duty vehicles may be one reason for the rise. In addition, many companies have added more medium-duty vehicles to their inventory of vehicles. Though the costs of accidents with medium-duty vehicles is higher than with light-duty trucks, those costs only add up to an extra few hundred dollars, meaning companies do have an incentive to downsize their fleets.
Can technology be the solution?
One way to prevent truck accidents is by using telematics. This is technology installed on each truck that will provide driving information to trucking companies so that they can analyze driver behavior and make helpful changes. Companies can monitor truck speeds and other bad driving habits. They can install video feeds in truck cabs that will show if drivers are using mobile phones or using other unsafe behavior.
Those who have implemented telematics report that truckers are driving more safely. Companies like that they can essentially ride along with their drivers to help ensure everyone's safety. Many experts hope that the whole trucking industry will invest in these kinds of safety measures so that the rate of accidents will fall.
What is the future for telematics?
Other technologies that the industry hopes to implement include warnings for lane departure, side blind-zone alerts and forward collision alerts, among other measures. Experts say that newer fleets will have more technology for crash avoidance in both light-duty and medium-duty trucks. In addition, many trucking companies are looking at options outside of technology, such as taking steps to address driver fatigue. Fatigue management programs are viewed as an important component of safety awareness programs that can save lives.
Accidents will still happen
Despite these efforts, truck accidents will, regrettably, still occur. If you are ever the victim of a careless truck driver, know that you have several options available to hold that driver and any other responsible parties accountable for your injuries. You have the right to pursue legal recourse in ensuring that you receive full compensation for your suffering.