Reducing Florida Truck Accidents Requires Industry Buy-In
Florida truck accidents are the result of a central conflict of large, industrial vehicles navigating alongside the much-smaller passenger vehicles. Degradation of infrastructure is one contributing factor, as are poorly designed roads that prioritize speed at the expense of all other road users.
While the trucking industry is keen to blame Florida truck accidents on passenger vehicle drivers, there is much the industry can do to reduce the number of crashes.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission recently reported that fatalities resulting from collisions between cars and trucks have risen 5.4 percent in a single year, with 4,300 people killed in 2016 in truck accidents nationally.
How Truck Companies Can Reduce Crashes
We do know that certain types of advanced safety features, such as automatic emergency braking (AEB) and forward-collision warning (FCW) are helping to drive down the number of trucking accidents. But while they are increasingly present in passenger vehicles, they are mostly non-existent in commercial trucks. In fact, much of the current fleet on the road is more than 10 years old - predating the technology entirely.
A recent report by Securing America's Future Energy (a research group out of Washington, D.C.) revealed that just 15 percent of the big commercial trucks on the road today have any kind of collision avoidance systems - including FCW.
Another analysis by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that approximately 107,000 truck accidents occur nationally every year that could be wholly prevented or reduced in severity if this type of technology were incorporated in these large trucks. That would amount to a reduction of 28 percent of all truck accidents across the country.
Blind spot warning systems, lane departure warnings and stability controls were noted to be the most potentially helpful in avoiding Florida truck accidents and those across the country.
As a Palm Beach truck accident attorney knows, this is an important issue to prioritize given that these tractor-trailer trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. We've seen the direct and lasting consequences of a crash with one of these roadway behemoths. It can be utterly devastating.
By introducing these basic safety features, we'd be helping to alert commercial drivers to the kinds of imminent danger that are most likely to result in critical injury and loss of life. Other features, like lane assist and automatic braking, could physically assist in helping truckers avoid a crash. That could be mission-critical, particularly in an industry that pushes its drivers to the maximum limit in terms of demands and rest limitations.
The trucking industry must do a better job of ensuring the newer fleets in which they invest have this technology, and that older fleets are retrofitted. Some will undoubtedly complain of the cost, but consider the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's conclusion that the average fatal truck accident averages around $3.6 million in losses, while an injury-causing crash is estimated to cost $200,000. Consider too that those figures were released in 2005, meaning actual losses in a Palm Beach trucking accident today are likely considerably higher.
In the event that you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident, contact David J. Glatthorn, P.A. today.