Big Rigs Rolling Out New Stopping Technology
Many car safety features that were once expensive upgrades are now standard and affordable, including forward-collision warning (FCW) and automatic emergency braking. Research has shown that these features reduce crashes in passenger vehicles. The technology also exists for commercial trucks, but adoption is much less widespread. As of 2015, only 15 percent of heavy trucks were outfitted with these safety features.
Many trucks in operation are over a decade old and were assembled long before these safety features became mainstream. But progress is being made to increase this number and create safer driving conditions for everyone on the road.
Emerging safety features
According to a report by Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), a think tank in Washington, D.C., as much as 40 percent of large commercial truck fleets in the U.S. could have FCW and crash-mitigation systems by 2020. These systems often come in packages that include multiple safety technologies working in conjunction with one another.
Software in the packages allows various cameras and sensors in the vehicle to monitor a driver’s surroundings. When the sensors detect an object, a warning goes off to alert the driver and allows them to take the proper course of action. These warnings are meant to support drivers and are not meant to replace proper training. For added safety, however, automatic braking systems can prevent collisions when a driver is unable to do so.
Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS) are included in many packages, though they have been required by law since 1997. Electronic stability control, which helps drivers maintain control of their vehicles during extreme steering maneuvers by keeping the vehicle headed in the driver's intended direction, has been in required by law since 2017. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that there will be complete adoption of other technologies without similar government mandates. Companies would be wise to invest in this technology, however, as preventing collisions will help save lives and reduce damage costs in the long run.
Highways in Texas are full of big rigs transporting essential goods and resources. Some of the busiest in El Paso, including Interstate 10 and US-54, are prone to accidents involving these trucks and their large size presents a greater safety and injury risk to those involved. If you or someone you know was injured in a highway accident with a commercial truck, contact an experienced truck accident attorney in El Paso. At the Law Offices of Michael J. Gopin, PLLC, we work with experienced accident investigators to determine what caused your trucking accident.