Trucking is vital for the economy of the entire world. There are always trucks on the road and they deliver much more cargo than ships, planes, and trains. With this in mind, it should be no surprise to see that trucking tops the lists of the most common jobs in the US in an impressive 29 states.
The problem is that trucks involved in accidents often lead to very serious injuries and high property damage. According to a semi truck accident lawyer, half a million of accidents with trucks involved happen in the US every single year. Unfortunately, this leads to around 5,000 deaths. This is why trucking safety is a priority for manufacturers. Fortunately, trucking technology keeps evolving. We thus now have access to technologies like the ones presented in the following paragraphs.
Driver Alert Systems
Truckers are allowed to drive, according to federal regulations, for 11 hours straight. Even so, there are countless truck drivers who violate the rule. This leads to driver fatigue and human error simply because protocols are not respected. In fact, this is a huge concern in the trucking industry right now.
Driver alert systems become very valuable in the trucking industry as they can detect the drowsiness of the driver. Various factors are taken into account to do this, including how often turn signals are used, what time it is, trip length, the behavior of the driver in regards to steering, and more.
Forward Collision Warning
These systems, together with mitigation systems, target the accidents caused by the inattention of the driver. They work by alerting the person behind the wheel of dangerous situations, like getting close to the vehicle in front or tailgating. Cameras and sensors with LiDAR technology make this possible.
LiDAR is right now used in several industries and it made its way into trucking. It is often combined with other technologies, like automatic emergency braking or lane assist, in order to help the truck driver react better to dangers.
Electronic Stability Control
ESC (electronic stability control) detects vehicular defects capable of increasing road accident risks. It is so useful that the NHTSA made it mandatory to have it installed in passenger vehicles. The system observes the movement of the tires and the steering wheel. It does not measure drowsiness levels as with driver alert systems. Instead, it analyzes signs that traction was lost. If a defect is detected, tasks are automatically executed, like lowering engine power.
Rear View Cameras
For the truck driver, visual limitations can be very dangerous. The use of cameras is actually a very simple solution. It offers a very clear view of what happens in the back of the truck while assessing blind spots.
The most common use of rear view cameras involves using 3 cameras. 2 are placed on the sites and the third one is in the back. The system is usually combined with audio alerts and a high resolution screen. Advanced cameras are also weatherproof or they offer a wider angle view so the truck driver can see even more on the sides and behind.