Passenger vehicles practically drive themselves these days, with automatic braking and parallel parking systems, cruise control, and warnings and alerts for almost any danger on the Texas roadways. But what about large trucks?
According to Forbes magazine, the deaths in large truck crashes have increased over time, with more than 4,000 people dying in these collisions in 2015 alone, and more than 116,000 more injured. If trucking companies were to install some of these safety systems on their fleets, it could drop the number of crashes by roughly 63,000 per year, one study estimates.
AAA breaks these numbers down by the type of life-saving technology involved.
If manufacturers began equipping every new truck with an automatic emergency braking system, this one change going forward would have a significant impact. As many as 5,294 large truck crashes could be avoided each year. There would be 2,753 people that did not sustain an injury in a collision with a tractor-trailer, and 55 people would continue on with their lives, their vehicles never crushed by a truck that did not stop in time. Air disc brakes would also make a difference in stopping an accident in its tracks, with 2,411 crashes avoided, 1,447 injuries prevented and 37 lives saved.
Lane departure warning systems can easily be installed on both new and older truck models, and if every owner did this, it could save 115 lives annually. All video-based monitoring systems have huge life-saving potential, in fact. Nearly 300 lives could be saved each year if every truck were equipped with this technology. Based on the research, shipping companies cannot afford not to begin updating their fleets.