Occupants of passenger vehicles suffer the most severe injuries in collisions with large trucks. They also represent the largest number of deaths in such crashes.
However, a nonprofit research group believes that the addition of advanced safety features to big rigs could dramatically reduce the number of truck-related crashes that occur annually.
About the nonprofit study
A study released in 2018 explained the results of research into large truck crashes. Truck driver fatigue, distraction and braking issues are among the factors that can lead to devastating accidents. The study undertaken by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that in 2015, more than 400,000 truck-related crashes caused 116,000 injuries and more than 4,000 fatalities. The study examined the benefits of adding four advanced safety features to trucks. The findings indicated that these could prevent as many as 63,000 crashes annually.
Air disc brakes show both performance and maintenance advantages over drum brakes. In addition, an automatic emergency braking system not only warns the driver if the truck is too close to the vehicle in front of it but also provides automatic braking if necessary.
Researchers also recommended the installation of warning systems. These serve to alert the driver when a truck starts to drift out of its lane.
A video-based onboard safety monitoring system uses cameras and sensors to monitor the truck driver’s performance and behavior. Using this kind of system, the employer can provide feedback to help the driver improve his or her driving skills. A truck-car collision can cause catastrophic injuries, especially to victims in passenger vehicles. In their analysis, the AAA Foundation researchers estimated that onboard safety monitoring alone is capable of preventing 17,722 truck-related crash injuries and 293 fatalities every year.