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Trucks often take center stage when it comes to road accidents and fatalities. Over 5,000 large trucks were involved in fatal traffic crashes in 2021, discloses a National Safety Council analysis. An estimated 117,300 heavy trucks were engaged in crashes that resulted in an injury in 2021, further reveals the analysis. That’s a 12 percent increase from 2020.
What causes these accidents? A few truck-related crashes are a result of mechanical failure, but many happen due to alcohol abuse and rash driving. Poor visibility, blind spots, and wide turns are also responsible for truck crashes.
Fortunately, the advancements in technology have led to the emergence of innovative solutions that notify the driver of obstacles ahead, allowing them to take action beforehand. This, ultimately, mitigates the risk of truck accidents.
In this guide, we’ll discuss a few groundbreaking technologies that are transforming the trucking industry:
Telematics, a technology that transfers data from commercial trucks to another vehicle, has become a significant part of the trucking industry. While this technology gained popularity in recent years, its existence can be dated back to the late 1970s when a French government report explained the concept of telematics.
Also known as fleet telematics, this system relies on GPS technology, sensors, and onboard diagnostic codes to collect vehicle-specific data. This collected information is transmitted to the central server of the company through a wireless network. The fleet manager can access and view this data from anywhere on any device and make informed decisions.
As fleet telematics track the speed and location of the vehicle and identify harsh driving practices, fleet managers get insight into the driver’s behavior. This real-time driver behavior can help fleet managers identify when drivers need additional training.
What’s more, many modern-day telematics systems come equipped with cameras. A recent Trakm8 study reveals that telematics cameras lessen the chances of accidents by 39%. Besides, the video footage can be used as evidence to prove your driver’s innocence in legal proceedings.
The rising need for improving driver safety has led to the growth of the commercial vehicle telematics market. As per Global Market Insights, the commercial vehicle telematics market, which surpassed $33 billion in 2022, is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11% by 2032.
2. Dual Facing Dash Cams
In the trucking world, dual-facing dash cams have emerged as a game-changer. Sixty-four percent of commercial trucking companies use dual-facing dash cams to monitor driver’s behavior, discloses Fleet Maintenance’s recent article.
Where front-facing dash cams capture only the road ahead, dual-facing dash cams capture both the road ahead and the interior of the truck.
This provides a comprehensive view of the road conditions around the truck and the driver’s behavior. Therefore, whenever dashcams sense a possible collision, they notify the driver through a non-aggressive audio alert.
That means your drivers will receive alerts whenever they are suspected of overspeeding, distracted driving, or following a vehicle too closely. These real-time alerts allow them to rectify their behavior, which can lessen the possibility of accidents.
Dual-facing dash cams have also revolutionized accident investigations. As these cameras record the road conditions and driver’s behavior every single day, the video footage can serve as evidence in fraudulent insurance claims.
Driver negligence is one of the most common causes of truck accidents, according to TorHoerman Law. In truck accident lawsuits, proving your truck driver wasn’t at fault is harder than you think. You will have to pay millions of compensation if you cannot prove that the accident wasn’t your driver’s fault.
Thankfully, dashcams can save your money and reputation. The footage of dual-facing dash cams can disprove accusations and prove the other party’s fault.
Should your truck driver be at fault, you can discuss settlement options with your lawyer. Further, you can use the recordings to offer constructive feedback to your at-fault driver and train other drivers.
A truck accident lawsuit guide will also come in handy in regard to training purposes. Truck accident guides contain everything from the role of state laws and regulations to factors that determine liability in truck accidents. Reading them thoroughly will help you provide targeted training to drivers, minimizing the possibility of accidents in the future.
3. Collision Avoidance Systems
Another groundbreaking technology that has helped cut down truck accidents is the collision avoidance system. These systems help prevent accidents by detecting obstacles and alerting the driver of potential hazards ahead. It does so through cameras, lasers, or radar systems.
Not only the normal field of view, but these systems can also detect obstacles or objects in driver blind spots. By issuing a warning, the system allows drivers to react before a collision occurs. In the event a driver fails to respond on time, these systems apply brakes automatically.
Undoubtedly, advanced technology has made roads safer than they ever were in the past. These technologies aren’t the only ones transforming the trucking landscape. Other innovations, such as truck platooning, autonomous cruise control, and advanced driver assistance systems, are decreasing the risks of truck accidents.
While technology is making significant strides in preventing accidents, remember that driver’s intervention is essential. Therefore, educate and train your drivers so that they practice good driving habits.
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