The latest commercial vehicle safety systems could prevent up to 63,000 serious accidents involving semi-tractor trailers each year, according to a recent study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. More than 4,000 road users were killed and a further 116,000 were injured in truck accidents in 2015. However, the study suggests that these figures could be significantly lowered if every tractor-trailer throughout Kentucky and the rest of the U.S. was equipped with lane departure warning systems, video-based safety monitoring equipment, emergency braking technology and air disc brakes.
The biggest safety gains could be achieved by installing video-based safety monitoring equipment on every large commercial vehicle. According to the AAA study, this kind of technology could prevent 293 deaths and 17,733 injuries each year. A further 6,000 truck crashes could be avoided every year if all tractor-trailers were equipped with lane departure warning systems, which the research team say would save 115 lives and prevent 1,342 injuries.
Some of the deadliest truck accidents involve drivers who became distracted or fell asleep at the wheel and were unable to apply brakes or take emergency action. Installing automatic emergency braking systems to all semi-tractor trailers could prevent 5,294 such crashes and save 55 lives each year, according to the study. Air disc brakes are already fitted to most large trucks, but the research indicates that making this technology mandatory would prevent 37 deaths and 1,477 injuries every year.
Most of these safety systems are designed to compensate for the diminished skills of distracted, fatigued or reckless truck drivers. Government crash data reveals that the vast majority of traffic accidents involve human error in some shape or form. If a motorist has been harmed by a reckless truck driver, they may hire a lawyer who could help them obtain compensation for medical costs.