Even with the rise of remote work in recent years, driving or riding in a vehicle as part of performing job duties is still a necessity for many Americans. Supply chain issues have surfaced during the coronavirus pandemic and have exposed vulnerabilities in the industry, but goods and services will always need to be transported throughout the country. As that happens, the reality is that there will be accidents in which people are injured or killed, and where large vehicles like trucks will cause damage.
Unfortunately, the risks and statistics are sobering. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have noted that “motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of work-related deaths in the United States.” When it comes to truck accidents, the agency notes that 1 in 3 drivers have experienced a serious crash during their time working in the industry. It was as recently as 2016 that the number of truck driver deaths started trending upward after holding steady in between 2012 and 2015. In 2019, truck driver deaths were as high as 892. Technology has come into play in order to prevent or reduce the likelihood of trucking accidents, and it is still evolving.
Moving Forward with Trucking Safety
There will always be a human element when operating large vehicles like trucks. Drivers who are likely to misjudge certain road scenarios, underestimate their own capacity to drive in certain circumstances, or not heed the special regulations intended to keep truck drivers and the vehicles around them safe.
Throughout the years, teams of engineers and developers have been hard at work to fill the gap where humans are limited to improve safety. According to AltexSoft, a technology consulting company, safety developments on the radar include:
- Driver alert systems that monitor fatigue with algorithms focused on a truck’s irregular movements, even the biodata of an operator.
- Forward collision mitigation systems with sensors and cameras that pinpoint tailgating and other behavior that might endanger cars ahead of a truck driver.
- Electronic stability control that takes corrective mechanical measures after tracking activity like transmission slippage or loss of traction.
- High-quality cameras that provide views of the sides and back of a truck via LCD screens, including supplemental audio.
- Artificial Intelligence that pulls in driver behavioral data from aggregated trips to identify possible opportunities for additional driver training, including strengthening on-the-road safety measures.
Liability After a Trucking Accident
Truck drivers have a responsibility to keep others safe as they perform their job duties on the road and when they are negligent, they can be held accountable. Behaviors that can contribute to an accident with other vehicles include:
- Speeding in violation of local laws
- Failure to signal during a lane change
- Being on the road while fatigued or distracted
- Proceeding without caution in inclement weather
- Driving while under the influence
- Poor vehicle maintenance by mechanics
Injuries from a trucking accident can range from serious to fatal. They can involve head and brain trauma, broken bones, lacerations, spinal cord damage, loss of limbs, and wrongful death. Seeking medical care and documenting your injuries is very important after an accident.
Contact an Attorney
Technology for trucks can help avoid collisions and may reduce instances of human error, but a driver will always have a responsibility for safety. In addition, several parties could be held liable for an accident, including the trucking company and parts manufacturers.
The circumstances will vary from case to case, but a Boston truck accident lawyer can evaluate an accident to determine the extent of responsibility. As a victim, you could be entitled to compensation including medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, property damage, and more. Contact us at (617) 870-0907 today for a free consultation and to learn more about your legal options.