Tractor-trailers jockeying for space on Routes 78 and I-20 is common, as Georgia is one of the busiest distribution hubs in the U.S. Unfortunately when a collision occurs between a passenger vehicle and a big truck, the results are often devastating. We frequently represent clients injured in a crash involving the negligence of a trucking company or commercial driver.
According to Fleet Owner, the average age of active medium-duty trucks is 8 years, with heavy-duty trucks typically 7.87 years old. The vast majority do not have the same factory-installed safety features that most passenger vehicles of the same age have.
The broad range of standard vehicle safety features on today’s cars and light-duty trucks go far beyond safety belts. Electronic stability control, front airbags and the LATCH child safety seat system are requirements. Many manufacturers also consider side-curtain airbags standard equipment.
Crash avoidance technology is an option on many new models, such as the following:
- Forward-collision warnings
- Blindspot detection
- Lane departure warnings
- Backup cameras
- Adaptive headlights
Retrofitting big trucks
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration research indicates that adding two safety systems, commonly available on passenger vehicles, to big rigs may reduce the number and severity of collisions between big trucks and other vehicles.
Adaptive cruise control differs from standard cruise control: it slows down and automatically speeds up, keeping pace with the car ahead while staying two to four seconds behind it. This feature often comes paired with a pre-crash system.
Forward collision warning systems monitor relative speed and distance using forward-facing sensors. Visual and sound cues, often combined with steering wheel vibrations, alert the driver. Automatic braking and back up warnings also accompany the system.
Distracted driving affects big rig drivers as much as any other. Eating, changing music, navigation system checks and more can result in collisions causing catastrophic injuries and fatalities.