How Technology Advances are Improving Trucking Safety

November 3rd, 2022

Safety should always come first in the trucking industry. Thanks to today’s technologically savvy world, new ideas and products, that can help elevate safety standards, are being introduced all the time. These products are being designed to help reduce and prevent crashes and make the roads a safer place for all drivers. At Lee-Smith, we’re committed not only to being available to assist with all of your trucking needs but also to taking opportunities to educate drivers about advances in technology that can make their jobs easier and safer. For this month’s blog, we’re taking a deeper look at some of the technologies that are now available to make your drive as safe as can be. 

The Numbers

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) released fatality facts involving large truck crashes in a report focused on data from the year 2019. That year alone, 11% of deadly crashes involved trucks. In total, over 4,100 people died in these crashes. As you well know, semi-trucks are designed differently than the average passenger vehicle. When you are carrying a heavy load, coming to a hard stop is not as fast or easy. In fact, it takes anywhere between 20-40% longer for a loaded tractor-trailer to come to a complete stop. Time is everything when you are trying to stop to avoid a collision. How do we fix this major problem? Examining today’s technology is a great place to start. 

The Technology

Data shows that new technologies like forward collision warning, automated braking systems and electronic stability control (ECS) can all help reduce the number of crashes. USDOT’s research shows that by adding forward collision warning technology and automated emergency braking systems to trucks, rear-end collisions caused by trucks could be lowered by a whopping 40%. This is huge and important information for companies to consider when purchasing their next fleet of trucks according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The IIHS said that even in crashes that could not be totally prevented, it found that truck speeds were lowered when these systems were used. Since August of 2019, ESC has been required on all new truck tractors and busses because it helps prevent jackknives and rollovers that are often caused when a truck loses stability. The IIHS says that research taken over a four-year period showed that close to 31,000 truck crases could be prevented or mitigated thanks to ESC. To put that another way, the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration says we could see a massive drop of between 40-56% of untripped rollovers thus saving many lives. 

Companies should also consider adding dual cameras to their trucks if they do not already have them. These cameras not only provide evidence that can be used in the event of a crash to show fault but also provide a look inside the truck. Knowing that you are being recorded can encourage you to stay alert and pay closer attention while on the road. Some cameras also include a sleep mode that can active the cameras to record if someone backs into them, etc. even if the vehicle is turned off. (Source)

How Lee-Smith Can Help

In today’s world, new technology is being introduced every day. Our hope is that drivers and companies will take a serious look at these products and see how they can make the industry and roads safer for everyone. Our team is happy to answer any questions and provide recommendations on which safety products you should consider. Give us a call at (423) 707-2946 or reach out to us on our website

Posted by Lee-Smith