You share the roads in Georgia with commercial trucks every day, but truck safety strategies have not necessarily kept up with the rise of distracted driving. The last time that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration conducted a large truck crash study, the use of cellphones and other mobile devices was not as prevalent as today. The organization issued its last report on the matter in 2006, which was based on data from 2001 to 2003. To collect fresh data about mobile technology distractions and their influence on truck accidents, the agency has proposed a new study for the purpose of reducing future accidents, injuries and fatalities.
Truck accidents on the rise
Federal crash statistics will likely confirm your suspicions that U.S. highways have become more dangerous in recent years. From 2016 to 2018, the number of fatal truck accidents rose by 5.7% with 4,415 deadly wrecks occurring in 2018 alone.
Truck driver distractions
The methodology proposed by the FMCSA researchers will specifically focus on how truck drivers who experienced accidents were engaged with dashboard electronic systems and mobile devices. Safety researchers want to compare how truck drivers’ interactions with technology affect the severity of accidents.
Some trucks on the road today possess automatic emergency braking systems and lane departure warnings. The FMCSA study intends to measure how driver-assistive technology improves safety and use the data to optimize these systems. The agency expects this information to be especially useful in the development of automated trucks.
Truck accidents can cause serious injuries
The upward trend in fatal truck accidents illustrates the need for the trucking industry to update safety strategies. People hurt in collisions with commercial trucks can face long recovery times or permanent disability. Due to the high financial damages associated with trucking accidents, victims often need to pursue personal injury claims to receive adequate compensation. The desire to limit liability strongly motivates trucking companies and their insurers to keep settlements low. Victims will need to present as much evidence as possible to make a strong case for the payment of their damages.