Could new technology lower trucking accident numbers?

New technologies could reduce the risk of trucking accidents and improve safety on Texas’ roads.

The Texas Department of Transportation reports that there were over 29,000 crashes throughout the state that involved commercial motor vehicles. Out of that number, there were 535 deaths and over 1,400 injuries that left people incapacitated. It is unknown how many of those collisions involved tractor trailers.

That same year, the Highway Institute for Highway Safety states that nationwide, tractor trailers resulted in the deaths of 3,602 people. This is not surprising, given the fact that a tractor trailer is several times larger than a passenger vehicle. When a traffic accident involves a tractor trailer, generally the drivers and passengers of passenger cars suffer serious injuries or are killed. However, new technology being introduced could lower these numbers and make Texas' roads safer.

Platooning trucks

One new type of technology that is attracting support from law enforcement agencies is called platooning. According to ABC News, the technology, which is developed by a company called Peloton Technology, was recently demonstrated on a major interstate in Nevada. During the test, two semis traveled at a space of 40 feet from each other without any major issues.

The technology works by establishing a communication system between the trucks, exchanging information relating to traffic conditions and weather. The data is gathered by sensors that are installed on the trucks. Truckers can use that system to determine how much space they need from each other and even whether conditions are safe for platooning. Law enforcement said that the system's reaction time allows trucks to make changes faster than a second which could improve safety on the road for everyone. Truckers still remain in full control of the semis and can turn off the system at any time.

Stability control systems installation order

New cars since 2012 have come with a standard electronic stability control system but now that technology will be required by all commercial buses and trucks that weigh more than 26,000 pounds, USA Today recently announced. It is estimated that over 1,700 collisions could be prevented each year by the technology.

Electronic stability control systems are designed to keep a vehicle moving in the direction it is supposed to go in the event that something happens, and therefore prevent the vehicle from rolling over. Officials believe that the new technology will save up to 49 lives and lower rollover rates for commercial trucks and buses by 56 percent. The new rule will require the vehicles to have the systems installed on them within the next two years.

Seeking compensation

While technology may be able to combat the growing problem of trucking accidents, it will not entirely eliminate the risk. A negligent trucker or trucking company's actions can leave people in San Antonio seriously injured, permanently disabled or mourning the loss of a loved one. Therefore, it may be of benefit for them to discuss their options with an injury attorney.