How Technology Can Improve Safety in Trucking
The leading cause of preventable deaths in the country is motor vehicle collisions. The number of heavy-duty trucks involved in crashes has increased over the years, leading many within the freight industry to search for solutions.
Sadly, no matter how much planning and forward-thinking is used in the pursuit of trucking safety, accidents are still a possibility and a major liability for the industry. Everything from outdated legislation to crumbling infrastructure has been cited as a potential source for safety concerns, with the industry searching for ways to remedy the issues and slash accident rates.
One solution for trucking may come in the form of a taboo topic – technology. While the stereotype that says truck driving is a primitive industry is largely false, there is still a great deal of controversy surrounding the use of new technologies in the freight transportation industry. Some truck drivers claim new techs invade their privacy, and that others pose a risk of eliminating jobs in the industry forever.
While things like ELDs and autonomous trucks are in the forefront of the discussion when it comes to technology, safety advocates have been very vocal about the benefits of embracing better safety technology in the future.
ADAS systems are a popular topic of discussion for many, with their collision avoidance capabilities seeming like a great asset for truck drivers. With helpful features like speed-sign recognition and lane-departure warnings, the new technology may help to reduce accidents for commercial vehicles just like the same features have helped to cut accident rates in traditional vehicles.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the nonprofit National Safety Council held a panel with over a dozen manufacturers, technology experts, safety specialists, fleet owners, regulators, and insurers. The group discussed how to implement ADAS into more heavy-duty trucks. Experts have said the idea that the industry needs autonomous trucks to rescue them is false. Safety can be achieved using improved capabilities, like the kind offered by ADAS.
While the new “smart” features offered in modern systems may help to make the roads a little safer, there are still plenty of concerns about these new systems. Smaller carriers especially are waiting for more information to be released before they look into making the switch.