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Accidents involving a semi-truck are very likely to result in a death – most often, the death of a person in a passenger vehicle involved in the crash. In fact, people in passenger vehicles make up 97% of fatalities in accidents involving semi-trucks. But there are most certainly measures that shipping companies could be taking to reduce the death toll in these accidents. Here are just a few of the ways semi-truck owners and drivers should be working to lower the danger and reduce the risk to truckers and other drivers on the road.
Regulations are in place for a reason, offering guidance for training and number of hours driven in one stretch. But without enforcement, these safe driving restrictions don’t do much good. The burden of liability falls on the driver and the shipping company to make sure to meet each guideline.
Much like an airplane’s black box, a data logger for a semi-truck can give details of what happened and when in an accident, adding accountability for drivers. They can also help to record drive time, leading to more accurate reporting that can make it easier for drivers to stay in compliance.
It’s not just clear roads and dry pavement with alert, wide-eyed drivers out there on the highway. It’s important for companies to factor in adverse road conditions and much-needed rest stops for drivers when calculating shipping times. Sure, it saves the company money to have a delivery arrive faster if all goes well, but no amount of money is worth a life.
It might seem obvious, but one of the biggest steps that companies could be taking is ensuring that drivers follow all laws and obey common-sense practices. Some of these include obeying posted speed limits, allowing ample following distance between cars, and moving over for vehicles on the shoulder. It should go without saying that obeying the rules of the road is an essential safety measure for driving on it, but that isn’t always the case.
With technology always developing, shipping companies can stay on the cutting edge with front-end camera monitoring, blind spot cameras, lane departure sensors, automatic hazard braking, and other features that help protect lives. The future of semi-truck safety certainly includes more cameras and high-tech tools. These systems not only help protect truck drivers and those in other vehicles, but they can also help protect companies from litigation and act as a recruitment incentive for new drivers.
The burden of safety—and the liability that goes along with it—falls on the shipping companies and semi-truck owners. But that doesn’t fix anything in hindsight. If you or someone you know has faced injuries or worse at the whim of an unsafe semi-truck, you can still seek justice and financial support owed to you. Reach out for a free consultation with a skilled legal professional from Cok Kinzler. We can help you assess your situation, build a case, and seek justice following an accident.