Not all truck crashes are preventable, but most of them are. This is, by far, the most tragic truth about truck accidents and the injuries, deaths and property damage they lead to. As commercial drivers have not sufficiently stepped up to the plate to prevent more accidents, many have asked if tech might provide useful assistance.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is one of several organizations that confirm safety tech in trucks could save lives. This is true of not just trucks but all heavy vehicles with a gross weight of 10,000 pounds or more.
The NHTSA has approached this research topic from several angles. They have studied the following:
- Evaluating blind-spot warning tech
- Evaluating lane changing warning tech
- Evaluating forward-collision warning tech
- Examining the visual and auditory components of forward-collision warning systems
- Examining the ability of automatic emergency braking to stop heavy vehicles faster
AAA is another organization that aggressively researched safety tech in large vehicles from similar angles. They have also played an instrumental role in lobbying government agencies to adopt stricter regulations when it comes to commercial trucks.
AAA estimates that truck manufacturers could prevent 63,000 truck crashes every year by installing safety tech. Here are some of the details:
- Built-in, video-based safety monitoring systems can prevent up to 63,000 crashes per year
- Disc brakes can prevent up to 2,411 crashes each year
- ABS can prevent up to 5,294 crashes every year
- Lane-departure warning systems could prevent up to 6,372 crashes in a single year
Findings like these have been around for several years, but lawmakers and truck manufacturers have not taken a solid stand to improve safety tech in trucks. The good news is that passenger vehicles now have a wealth of tech. These are not enough, but they do help to prevent crashes with trucks and other vehicles.