The trucking industry is the cornerstone of the economic health of the U.S. It is responsible for transporting about 72.6% of America’s freight. Though a vital pillar of the economy, this industry is considered one of the riskiest.
A total of 523,796 large truck crashes occurred across the U.S. in 2021. With 806 deaths, Texas ranks the top among the states with the highest number of fatalities due to large truck crashes.
A close second is California, recording 437 deaths, and Florida, with 373 deaths, rounds out the top three states with the highest number of accidents involving large trucks.
Missouri is another state where truck-related incidents are on the rise. In 2021, 119 fatalities were recorded in the state. More shockingly, fatal crashes are on the rise in Missouri in 2022, reveals a recent News-Press NOW article. An estimated 1,028 people died on the roads of the state.
Fortunately, the automotive industry is pushing boundaries to improve safety for truck drivers, all thanks to technology. Here, we’ll explore a few technologies that are improving safety in the trucking industry.
#1 Driver Alert Systems
In 2021, around 684 people were killed in traffic crashes that involved a drowsy driver. A recent report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals that.
Federal law prohibits truck drivers from driving more than 11 hours at a stretch. However, truck drivers hardly adhere to the rule. Many violate it and drive for longer than 11 hours without proper rest. As tired or drowsy drivers suffer from slower reaction times, they are at an increased risk of being involved in accidents.
Fortunately, the driver alert system reduces the likelihood of accidents that occur due to dozing off or sluggish reactions of the drivers. This system uses a combination of algorithms and sensors to monitor the driver’s behavior and identify signs of drowsiness.
Driver alert systems can also recognize patterns in lane deviation and steering wheel movement. Whenever this advanced technology recognizes any sign of drowsiness or fatigue in the driver, it warns them immediately. These real-time alerts and feedback bring their focus back on the road.
#2 Dash Cams
Another technology transforming the trucking industry by improving driver safety is dash cams. A dash cam is a small video camera that is installed on the windshield, dashboard, or other location in the truck.
One significant benefit of having a dash cam in your truck is that it promotes responsible driving behavior. Knowing that their actions are being recorded, drivers maintain appropriate speeds and adhere to traffic laws.
These compact cameras record everything when the vehicle is in motion. Many high-end cameras feature rear-facing lenses, which capture the rearview.
The video footage of dash cams is particularly useful in case your truck gets involved in an accident. You can use the footage to prove that your truck driver wasn’t at fault.
In auto accidents involving trucks and other small vehicles, proving your driver is innocent is challenging. However, dash cam recordings give authorities insight into driver behaviors, which helps them determine the at-fault party.
Owing to the rising number of truck accidents, the law has made dash cams mandatory in all 50 states of the U.S. Whether you reside in San Diego or St. Louis, you must install them in all your trucks.
Especially if you live in St. Louis, Missouri, dash cams are essential in your trucks. We say so because truck accidents are quite common in St. Louis.
The high percentage of truck accidents in St. Louis could be because of its three major interstate highways. In this regard, TorHoerman Law records that there has been a steady increase in trucking accidents in St. Louis because it is the centralized hub through which the nation’s cargo and freight travel.
In 2022, 162 fatalities involving commercial motor vehicles were reported in St. Louis. That is the highest number of fatalities recorded since 2018.
In traffic crashes, especially those involving large trucks, determining the at-fault party is difficult. That’s because truck drivers are held accountable for the accident even when the crash isn’t caused due to their negligence. That’s where dash cam recordings help prove them innocent.
Through dash cam footage, St. Louis personal injury lawyers establish liability in such complicated cases. Video recordings of these cameras help lawyers understand the position and the speed of the striking vehicle in relation to the struck vehicle at the time of impact.
The real-time events captured by the dash cam help lawyers understand which party was at fault. As dash cam recordings can help prove the innocence of your driver, it’s a must-have in every truck of your company.
#3 Forward Collision Warning and Mitigation Systems
The majority of rear-end crashes occur due to driver inattention, especially distraction.
Forward collision warning and mitigation systems target crashes caused due to driver inattention. Anytime a driver is too close to the front vehicle’s rear end or is tailgating, these systems send real-time alerts to them.
These sophisticated systems detect drivers’ inattentiveness through sensors, radar, and cameras, which is why they are able to lessen the severity of or avoid frontal collisions altogether.
Some forward collision warning and mitigation systems alert the driver of a potential collision, whereas others reduce the likelihood of a collision by using brake assist or emergency braking.
To sum it up, the trucking industry is undergoing a dramatic transformation, thanks to technological advancements.
The integration of driver alert systems, dash cams, and forward collision and mitigation systems has proven effective in preventing accidents. However, technology alone cannot do much if drivers aren’t well-trained. Driver training is of paramount importance. Therefore, invest in training programs.