The trucking industry has quietly taken a giant leap forward in recent years, by making use of high-tech collision mitigation systems and on-board video systems, as well as other event alarms which can signal potential driving dangers. In May of this year, these issues and others pertinent to the trucking industry were discussed at the ALK Transportation Technology Summit in Philadelphia, with a view toward highlighting some of these successful innovations, and considering others which might help resolve existing challenges.

How technology is helping

  • Onboard cameras – onboard cameras record traffic situations as the truck motors toward its destination, and when incidents involving other vehicles arise, the video can provide proof positive of the actual events. In many cases already, drivers have been exonerated of culpability in crashes, and in fact, having video proof has demonstrated that approximately 70% of all collisions involving trucks have been attributable to drivers of other vehicles
  • Parking mobile apps – for years now, parking trucks has been a growing concern for industry drivers, and in fact has even prompted many truckers to leave the profession because of the acute shortage of parking. Mobile apps have been developed for use and installed at specific truck stops, so that truckers can make reservations for parking spots prior to arrival
  • Speed limiters – while these have not been uniformly implemented as yet, some trucking companies have voluntarily adopted speed limiters simply as a means of governing top speeds for their fleet vehicles, for safety purposes. If federal legislation is enacted to implement a universal speed limit for carriers, speed limiters will come into widespread usage among truckers
  • Driving alert systems – some trucks have been installed with alert systems which signal various driving events, as a means of assisting truckers with the identification of potential risks, so they can be avoided. Lane-change alerts can prompt a drowsy driver that perhaps an unintended lane change is occurring, and collision avoidance alerts can warn drivers of impending crash situations, providing just enough time to take action

How the trucking industry benefits

With these safety features in place on many trucks, the companies operating such fleets are benefiting from greatly reduced claims costs, and from other costs which are impacted favorably. Video support has helped to clear drivers of blame which might have cost millions in liability payments, and safety features like collision avoidance and lane-change alerts have saved the lives of both drivers and other motorists on the road.

All these measures have helped to cut down significantly on the number and severity of trucking accidents, thereby drastically reducing the costs to companies for potential litigation. Insurance costs are also less because of installed safety features, since the likelihood of traffic incidents is much less. Technology is making the trucking industry safer, and saving it millions of dollars by enhancing safety measures and supporting the good driving practices of its professionals.

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