Montlick & Associates Reviews New Safety Innovations That Can Prevent Trucking Accidents . . . If Implemented
Commercial trucks are heavier and less responsive in emergencies, but new innovations and research in tractor-trailer design and engineering are intended to reduce the risk of commercial trucking accidents.
While most big-rig accidents are the product of driver error as opposed to vehicle malfunction or equipment failure, the manufacturers of tractor-trailers have implemented several innovations that may help prevent “human error” leading to trucking collisions.
Volvo Trucks, a European trucking company, recently published a report indicating that 9 in 10 truck crashes are the product of human error. The Volvo report was aimed at identifying the ways trucking accidents happen and developing strategies for preventing such collisions. Two major forms of human error that the report identified as being responsible for many trucking accidents were lack of concentration and speed miscalculations.
The research used in the report was derived by analyzing accident descriptions, major causes of trucking collisions and the most common types of trucking accidents. Volvo trucking also went on to suggest ways to enhance safety levels to address the factors that frequently result in trucking collisions. The tractor-trailer manufacturer lauded systems recently installed in its vehicles to detect when a driver is not focused on driving and to enhance the driver’s focus. The company has also focused on increasing the visibility of truck drivers.
Examples of other innovations by trucking manufacturers to make these mammoth vehicles safer include:
- Vehicle Impact Warning Systems: Tractor-trailers have blind spots that are much larger than a car or SUV so it is very dangerous for drivers to travel in these blind spots. While traffic safety experts recommend drivers not travel alongside commercial trucks, it is sometimes inevitable that a driver must pass through one of these blind spots. If you are in one of these blind spots, the truck driver will not see you when checking his mirrors. Collision warning systems are now available to alert the truck driver of vehicles in a blind spot. These systems are particularly effective at preventing trucking collisions involving sideswiping or backing into another vehicle.
- Systems Monitoring Brake Function: Air brakes are used to stop many tractor-trailers, but they can malfunction in a variety of ways. Monitoring systems can detect and warn truck operators of potential problems before they occur, such as: (1) brake over-stroke that results in the brakes applying less or no force, (2) brake failure or (3) brakes that fail to release, causing friction and potentially fire.
- Prevention Systems for Rollovers and Jackknife Accidents: These systems detect when a vehicle is moving too rapidly for a maneuver and applies the brake individually as needed to reduce the risk of rollover or jackknife.
These systems are good news, but the bad news is that many owner-operators and commercial carriers elect to avoid these innovations because of cost considerations. When the entire cost of these three safety features are calculated, it is less than $5,000. Nonetheless, trucking companies looking to increase profits may cut corners on safety or even violate trucking safety regulations. When truck drivers and trucking companies decide to cut corners or ignore inconvenient safety regulations, they may be held liable for the injuries they inflict on others.
The experienced Georgia Truck Accident Lawyers at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. At Montlick & Associates we work hard as part of our goal of being the best truck accident lawyers in Georgia.
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