You are not alone if you feel nervous and intimidated sharing the road with big rigs. When a truck passes you on the left, you may wonder if the driver will see you before moving the truck back into your lane. When a big truck follows too closely behind you, you may worry about what might happen if you should have to stop suddenly.
If you or a loved one has recently experienced the trauma of an accident with a tractor-trailer, you may have special reasons to feel vulnerable on the highways. Still, about 25 percent of all motorists report discomfort when driving around large trucks. In response to this, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently issued a report about the benefits of new safety devices in trucks.
Advanced technology for safer roads
The purpose of AAA's study was to let drivers of smaller vehicles know what the trucking industry is doing to improve safety on the highway. In the past year, accidents involving tractor-trailers and other large trucks increased by 4 percent from the previous year. That statistic includes 4,000 lives lost and 116,000 injuries, many of them likely catastrophic and life-altering. You may be included in that number.
Nevertheless, AAA wants you and the rest of the public to know about the improvements available to help truckers avoid accidents. The four main devices AAA encourages the trucking industry to mandate include:
- Systems to alert drivers when they drift into another lane
- Front-facing and driver-facing cameras to record data concerning driver actions
- Automatic emergency braking to stop the truck if the driver fails to react
- Air disc brakes to reduce stopping distance
Researchers claim that the use of these advanced technologies can save tens of thousands of lives each year. They predict the video system alone could prevent 63,000 accidents.
While such technology certainly sounds hopeful, researchers admit it will be a long time before the Mississippi highways are entirely safe for you and your family. Making such changes is expensive, and trucking companies may not see the benefit of investing so much money in safety features. Additionally, these features are only as good as the driver who uses them. There is always the possibility that adding such highly sophisticated safety devices to a rig will only make a driver more complacent behind the wheel.
Your accident was certainly a turning point in your life, especially if it cost you the ability to participate in your life as before or even left you without a loved one. While the promise of safer technology in the trucking industry may bring comfort to many drivers, you may simply want some help to get your life back on track.