Trucking Alliance Backs Call for Advanced Safety Technologies

​​​​Study finds steps could help prevent crashes that killed more than 4,000 Americans in 2015.

Uber

Four advances in safety technology could curb the more than 400,000 accidents involving large trucks each year in the U.S., cutting the heavy toll of injuries and fatalities, said an advocacy group in urging their adoption.

Braking systems designed to shorten a truck’s stopping distance, systems that warn the driver if the truck begins to drift out of its lane, and systems that can detect when a crash is imminent and automatically apply the brakes if the driver fails to do so are among the safety enhancements that could curtail crashes involving big rigs, according to the findings by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Study.

In a statement this month, the Alliance for Driver Safety and Security, also known as the Trucking Alliance, urged "affiliating carriers to support the deployment of Advanced Safety Technologies (ASTs) in their newly purchased trucks."

The group endorsed the findings by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Study, which found injuries and fatalities in large truck crashes could be greatly reduced by implementing the following:

1. Lane Departure Warning Systems: When a vehicle drifts in and out of its lane, this system detects the movement and warns the driver.

2. Video-based Onboard Safety Monitoring: Utilizes forward and backward facing in-vehicle video cameras and sensors.

3. Automatic Emergency Braking Systems: Detects when a truck is in danger of striking the vehicle in front of it and automatically brakes, if needed.

4. Air Disc Brakes: Superior to traditional drum brakes.

Large trucks with gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds drove approximately 280 billion miles on U.S. roads in 2015 and were involved in a total of over 400,000 crashes, which resulted in 116,000 injuries and 4,067 deaths, the foundation said in its report. "Advances in vehicle safety technology provide the opportunity to prevent substantial numbers of these crashes, injuries, and deaths," it added.

The purpose of the study was to estimate the cost-effectiveness of these technologies by comparing the economic value of the benefits associated with installing these advanced safety technologies on large trucks with the costs of doing so, the foundation said.