Can technology make Florida 18-wheelers safer?

With 77,000 people injured every year in large truck crashes and over 4,200 killed nationwide, the federal authorities have rightfully focused on stringent regulations to curb the appalling statistics. But Florida drivers sharing the road with big rigs are not so much concerned with the rules as they are with the way these rules are enforced.

The truck accident attorneys of Johnson & Gilbert in Ormond Beach have seen so many people and families devastated by the terrible damage caused by large semi-trucks — death and crippling injuries to the brain, spinal cord or limbs — that they have become forceful advocates of stricter Florida motor carrier regulation enforcement.

There is, however, a third way, one that has shown promising progress lately, to make large trucks safer in Florida. Technology has recently been the focus of a CVSA (Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance) report to the Senate in an effort to convince lawmakers that, along with enforcement of existing motor carrier regulations, new high-tech systems can make trucks a lot safer.

CVSA’s recommendations center on four technologies:

Brake stroke monitoring: This is an electronic, on-board system that monitors the critical components of the truck’s brake system and indicates issues of adjustment and operation. With such a system, the truck driver will have an immediate, real-time warning that the brake system is deficient.

Vehicle stability systems: Adapting and improving systems already available on many cars, the various stability control systems will either warn the driver of slide, yaw or roll-over risks, or intervene on the brakes and throttle to prevent the instability from developing. These systems are expected to sharply reduce the risks of rollovers and jackknife crashes.

Lane departure warning systems: Inadvertent lane changes caused by distracted or drowsy drivers are one of the main causes of 18-wheeler crashes. The latest lane departure systems rely on center or fog line tracking, with improved functioning in curves, at night and under a wide range of light and visibility conditions. A sound system immediately warns the driver when the edge of the truck’s calculated path is approaching.

Collision warning systems: This technology has several useful applications: it will warn the driver of stopped or slow-moving traffic ahead, indicate a shorter than safe distance from a preceding vehicle and act as a “see-through” system in fog, snow, dust or rain.

To illustrate the effectiveness of these new systems, a DOT (Department of Transportation) analysis has shown that 48 percent of accidents could be prevented by collision warning systems. The CVSA supports the introduction of incentives to encourage rapid and widespread use of these technologies in both the commercial truck and bus industries, to be followed by mandated rules when the bills have been approved.

In North and Central East Florida, contact the Daytona Beach Truck Accident Law Firm of Johnson & Gilbert PA if you or a loved one has been involved in a serious truck, car or motorcycle accident. With our extensive knowledge of the insurance companies’ tactics, our proven investigative skills, our experience of complex medical issues and our negotiation and fighting ability, we strongly believe that we can offer you great support after a serious and life-changing road accident.

Call us today toll free at (800) 556-8890 and locally at (386) 673-4412 or fill out the form on this page for a free consultation.