How Can Truck Companies Make Their Vehicles Safer?
We have all noticed automakers rapidly adding new safety features to their vehicles over the last several years, from automatic emergency braking systems and collision warning systems to stability control and lane departure warning systems. Unfortunately, the commercial trucking industry has been slower in adding these safety features to their trucks.
Below, learn more about what the trends are when it comes to commercial trucks adopting safety features that could help prevent dangerous accidents. If you were injured in a truck accident, do not hesitate to contact a skilled Milwaukee truck accident lawyer from PKSD for help with your claim. You have a limited amount of time to take legal action against the trucking company, so it is important to contact an attorney as quickly as possible to protect your rights.
What are Trucking Companies Doing to Lower the Risk of Crashes?
From 2009 to 2016, the number of fatal commercial truck accidents increased every year except one. There is a high potential for dangerous accidents because drivers travel many miles. There is also a shortage of truck drivers and limited space to carry freight in trailers, which forces companies to impose tight deadlines, making it more likely drivers will speed, drive while they are tired, or exceed federal limits on the number of consecutive hours they spend on the road.
Some commercial trucking companies have added various new safety features to help lower the risk of crashes, including technology to help prevent trucks from drifting into another lane or making trucks stop suddenly if danger is anticipated. Some trucking companies that have already adopted advanced safety features like these have reported an improvement in safety. However, some companies that have adopted these features are still unsure if there have been any safety improvements.
What Safety Features do Commercial Trucks Currently Have?
Popular safety features that some commercial trucks currently have include the following:
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Lane-departure warning
- Air disc brakes
- Forward video monitoring
- Smart cruise control
- Automatic emergency braking systems
- Electronic stability control
Safety Features Truck Companies are Likely to Add
Additional safety features and systems continue to be developed every day. A number of trucking companies are considering installing systems that incorporate a camera, radar and the vehicle’s braking system to provide a number of safety features, including following distance and blind spot alerts.
Forward-collision mitigation systems have also been developed, which provide automatic braking and adaptive cruise control for use in commercial vehicles. One company has collision avoidance and lane departure systems that give truck drivers visual, audible or tactile alerts. Some GPS systems detect stop signs and send a message to drivers to apply their brakes.
Another feature on the horizon is vehicle-to-vehicle technology in which vehicles notify each other when they are getting too close to each other.
What Holds Trucking Companies Back from Upgrading?
Only about 40 percent of trucking companies use advanced safety features, according to data from late 2018. The main reason truck companies cite for not adopting these safety features is the cost associated with them.
Many of these features are only available on new trucks, which means companies would have to buy new vehicles, which requires a much larger capital investment than adding features to older vehicles that are already in use. New commercial trucks often cost around $130,000 to $160,000. However, some safety features can be added onto an old truck, such as collision-avoidance warning systems and lane-departure warning systems that may be installed for under $1,000.
Another obstacle in incorporating these safety features is that many truck drivers have driven the same truck for many years. They may also drive personal vehicles that do not incorporate these features and may not feel comfortable with the technology. They may have never been in an accident and may not believe the safety features are necessary to drive safely. Most trucking companies do not feel pressured by their drivers to incorporate these features.
Unfortunately, trucking companies may be more focused on short-term profitability instead of the long-term gains from a reduction in serious accidents.
Contact a Skilled Lawyer to Discuss Legal Options
If you were injured in a truck accident, the experienced legal team at PKSD can help. We believe that you have a right to be safe on the road and that greedy trucking companies that do not ensure their vehicles are operated in a safe manner should be held accountable for their actions.
We protect the rights of accident victims and offer a free consultation to discuss your case and explain your legal options. If you decide to retain our services, you pay no upfront fees and only pay attorney fees if we help you recover compensation for your claim.
Contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation.