Crash avoidance technologies are expanding and improving with each vehicle model year. Forward collision warnings, automatic braking systems, lane departure warning and prevention systems, adaptive headlights, rear cross traffic warnings, adaptive cruise control, and blind spot detection are just some of the many features that can help drivers avoid accidents.
A review of recent truck accidents shows exactly how these technologies can be used to avoid truck accidents.
Why collision avoidance technology is necessary
A 2016 accident between a large truck and an SUV carrying 11 passengers is an example of how devastating a single truck accident can be. The accident resulted in six people being killed and five others injured. According to Trucking Info, the truck was driving near the posted speed limit of 75 miles per hour when it crashed into the back of the slow-moving SUV. The truck driver attempted to apply his brakes and swerve around the SUV, but it was too late.
The National Transportation Safety Board identified the primary factors leading to the fatal crash. First, the SUV was loaded beyond its capacity. Second, the truck driver's log entries were found to be inconsistent. Investigators determined that he had not received an adequate amount of sleep on the day prior to the accident. His fatigue and lack of attentiveness were found to be the main cause of the accident.
However, while it is not required by law, if the trucking company that employed him had installed collision avoidance technology in the truck, this accident could have been prevented.
Recent Truck Accidents in West Palm Beach
A West Palm Beach accident between a school bus and truck resulted in two students being injured. According to WPBF, witnesses saw the truck driver run a red light, though authorities did not immediately assign fault for the accident. Here, too, forward collision warning and automatic braking could have helped both drivers avoid the collision.
Crash avoidance technologies could have been lifesaving in the event of a tragic parking lot death at a Palm Beach County Publix store. My Palm Beach Post reports that witnesses saw a Palm Springs woman back her minivan out of a parking space and hit two other vehicles. A woman in the parking lot then became trapped under the minivan and was dragged. The driver told investigators that her brakes wouldn’t work. Her boyfriend reportedly tried to put the vehicle in park, but this too was unsuccessful.
The victim eventually died from the trauma to her head, torso, and leg. A Palm Beach County investigator ruled the incident an “excusable homicide” (defined by law as an accident which is done with no intent to kill, and arises despite usual ordinary caution). The driver therefore faces no criminal charges - only traffic violations.
Here, too, is a situation in which collision avoidance technologies could have avoided a tragic result. Rear cross-traffic cameras or blind spot detection sensors could have alerted the driver to the presence of vehicles and pedestrians nearby. Automatic braking could have stopped the minivan in spite of the driver’s unsuccessful attempts to put it in park and brake manually.
In spite of the many collision avoidance technologies that exist, the fact remains that many injury victims continue to suffer as a result of avoidable accidents. A West Palm Beach truck accident attorney can help victims access compensation for their injuries and losses in order to protect their legal rights.