Large, fast and unruly: it’s no surprise that tractor-trailer trucks are the cause of some of the deadliest accidents in Ohio. Fortunately, great advancements have been made in trucking safety technology in recent years. While these tools should be making Columbus’ roads safer, our research has shown that they come with their own safety challenges as well.
What are the safety features?
The technology on today’s tractor trailers is meant to help prevent the many different ways that trucks can cause accidents. Lane-departure warning systems and collision-avoidance systems alert drivers when they are drifting into other lanes or are too close to another vehicle. Rollover protection anchors truck wheels during sharp turns, while dashboard cams allow trucking company management to monitor how safe their drivers are.
While these features are undoubtedly a positive development, they can become unsafe when drivers become too reliant on them. Truckers who think the driver assistance system will entirely insure their safety may not use their instincts and professional driving experience to guide them on the road. Some might even think this technology allows them let their guard down and momentarily take their eyes off the road.
Drivers like these are incredibly dangerous because advanced driver assistance systems, like every technology, have their flaws. According to Trucks.com, lane departure warnings can malfunction if lane markings aren’t visible because of weather conditions such as snow. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also found that collision-avoidance systems don’t always register vehicles that aren’t in motion. This could steer drivers directly into a parked or stopped car, causing catastrophic injury to the people in that vehicle.
Even when these technologies work correctly, trucks are still large, hard to control vehicles compared to regular passenger cars. For example, the driver of a passenger car may have enough time to come to a complete stop after being alerted that they are approaching another vehicle, but for a truck driver, this may not be the case. Trucks are so large that it takes them much longer than cars to come to a complete stop, especially when they are traveling at high speeds on the highway. Truck drivers need to start braking much earlier than regular cars. And if they wait until the alert system tells them they are too close, it could be too late.
Why contact an attorney?
Trucking company leaders could combat these issues by educating drivers on technology limitations and emphasizing safety guidelines. But the unfortunate reality of the trucking industry is that it is incredibly understaffed by drivers who are dangerously overworked. Instead of advocating for safety, trucking companies are pushing drivers to drive faster, work through mandatory rest breaks and even take judgment-impairing drugs in order to meet unrealistic delivery schedules. To keep up with the increasing demand of consumer packages, they are hiring undertrained drivers and overloading trucks. Safety is not their top priority.
Don’t pay the price for the negligence of trucking companies. They choose profit over safety. And when their carelessness leads to injury or death, they hire entire legal teams to protect those profits. With Scott Elliot Smith, you can fight back. The attorneys at Smith Law Office are experienced in providing justice for truck accident victim, going as far as securing a $10.9 million verdict in a truck accident case. We know how the industry operates and how to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us to explore your legal options today.