Technology on the road has been a primary topic in road safety discussions for years. Technologies like smartphones lead to increases in distracted driving and crashes while technologies like advanced driver assistance systems and automatic emergency braking make drivers and passengers safer. Alabama drivers are likely familiar with all sorts of driver safety technologies that were entirely non-existent a decade ago. Some of these systems include adaptive cruise control, lane assist, automatic windshield wipers, blind spot monitoring and intelligent headlights.
The implementation of advanced safety systems has significantly improved the safety records of several major semi-truck fleets. Trucking company J.B. Hunt, for example, says the installation of automatic emergency braking in 98% of its trucks has reduced rear-end crashes by half. The company also says it has seen reductions in driver turnover, equipment downtime and accident severity. Collision mitigation systems based on cameras or radar can identify slow or stopped vehicles on the road in front of the truck and activate automatic braking when a crash becomes imminent.
Typically, active vehicle safety systems must be ordered and installed by the original manufacturer; they are not available as after-market upgrades. Trucking company Schneider National began ordering new trucks with these systems eight years ago. The company says it saw a 68% drop in the frequency of rear-end collisions and a 95% drop in accident severity during the first three years that its trucks had the tech.
When a passenger vehicle is involved in a crash with a large truck, the crash is more likely to result in severe injury or death than a collision with a smaller vehicle. In cases where a person is killed in a large truck accident, his or her family or estate may have claims for wrongful death. An attorney with experience in personal injury law might be able to help in wrongful death cases by identifying parties who have liability and by negotiating settlement with at-fault parties and their insurers.