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Driver-Assistance Technologies Reduce Truck Accidents and Injuries

How Driver-Assistance Technology Prevents Truck Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 37,500 Americans were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2016, and 1,188 of these occurred in Pennsylvania. Studies have shown that up to 94 percent of all crashes, including truck accidents, are caused by human error. However, research also shows that vehicles equipped with driver-assistance technologies can help mitigate driver mistakes and reduce accidents. If you are involved in an accident, you need a truck accident attorney on your side.

The Real-World Benefits of Driver-Assistance Technologies

In 2017, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that driver-assistance technologies can significantly reduce the risk of injury crashes. Specifically, the organization determined that lane departure warning systems reduce all crashes by 11 percent and injury accidents by 21 percent. They further discovered that blind spot detection systems reduce lane-change crash injuries by 23 percent and overall lane-change accidents by 14 percent.

Unfortunately, IIHS researchers also determined that many drivers deactivate the driver-assistance technology in their vehicles because they find the systems' warning beeps and buzzes irritating or distracting. As a result, traffic safety advocates say the public needs to understand the benefits of these technologies better and why they should not be deactivated in passenger vehicles or commercial trucks.

Lane Departure Warning Systems

Lane departure warning systems use cameras to track lane markings and detect when a car or truck is drifting from its lane without using a turn signal. If the system senses a vehicle is about to unsafely leave its lane, it will issue an audio, a visual or a sensory warning to alert the driver.

Lane-keeping systems are even more advanced than lane departure warning systems. This technology can take control of a vehicle that it senses is about to unsafely depart from its lane. The system accomplishes this by using the vehicle's steering, brakes and/or accelerator to keep it in its lane.

Both of these technologies can help cars and trucks avoid sideswipe crashes, head-on collisions and rollover accidents.

driver-assistance technologies

Blind Spot Detection Systems

Blind spot detection systems use cameras or sensors to monitor adjacent lanes and alert drivers to the presence of vehicles in their blind spots. This technology can be very helpful when drivers are trying to change lanes or pass another vehicle or when another vehicle is passing them. Like lane-keeping and lane departure warning systems, it can help reduce sideswipe accidents.

Forward-Collision Warning Systems

Forward-collision warning systems can monitor a car or truck's speed, calculate the speed of any vehicles or objects in front of it and measure the distance between the two objects. If the system detects that a vehicle is getting too close to something in front of it, it will warn the driver to take action. However, it does not take control of the vehicle if the driver fails to respond.

Automatic Emergency Braking Systems

Automatic emergency braking systems are similar to forward-collision warning systems, but they have the added benefit of taking control of the vehicle in emergency circumstances. These systems use cameras and sensors to predict front-end collisions and activate the brakes to prevent or lessen the severity of the crash. If a system senses an impending crash, it will alert the driver to take action. If the driver fails to apply the brakes or doesn't apply them hard enough, the technology will take over and apply the brakes automatically.

According to federal data, over 33 percent of all crashes reported to the police in 2015 involved a rear-end collision. Automatic emergency braking systems could reduce both the number and severity of these types of accidents, including those that involve large trucks slamming into the rear of passenger vehicles. However, if a truck does rear-end a car, injured victims might benefit from contacting a Philadelphia truck accident lawyer for assistance.

Rearview Video Systems

Rearview video systems provide drivers with an image of the area behind their vehicles as they back up. This can help prevent backup crashes with objects and, more importantly, with children and other pedestrians.

In May 2018, the NHTSA began requiring that all new cars and trucks under 10,000 pounds come equipped with rearview cameras. However, commercial trucks are currently not required to have this technology.

Individuals who have been injured in truck accidents should contact Metzger & Kleiner to speak with a Philadelphia truck accident lawyer and schedule a consultation. Our office in Philadelphia can be reached at (215) 567-6616.

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