Video-monitoring could drastically reduce truck accidents

A recent AAA study says onboard technology could reduce truck accidents by 63,000 per year.

As Forbes reports, large trucks were involved in more than 400,000 accidents in 2015, which was a four percent increase over the year before. Those accidents led to 116,000 injuries and over 4,000 deaths. However, many of those deaths could easily be prevented if trucking companies did more to adopt life-saving technologies, such as video-monitoring systems and automatic emergency braking. Video-monitoring alone, according to a recent AAA Foundation study, could reduce truck-related motor vehicle accidents by 63,000 per year and save close to 300 lives.

Life-saving potential

The study looked at the costs and effectiveness of four different technologies: lane-departure warning systems, onboard video-monitoring safety systems, automatic emergency braking, and air disc brakes. Researchers combined research from previous studies on the effectiveness of such technology with crash data involving large trucks from 2010 to 2015.

The study concluded that video-monitoring safety systems would have the most dramatic impact on crash rates, reducing truck-related accidents by 63,000, injuries by 17,733, and deaths by 293 per year. Lane-departure warning systems, meanwhile, could reduce accidents by 6,372 and save the lives of 115 people each year. Automatic emergency braking would prevent more than 5,200 crashes while air disc brakes would prevent 2,400 crashes.

Costs vs. Benefits

Trucking companies often complain that such technologies are hard to implement on a largescale basis because to do so would be too costly. However, the above study shows that the potential to save hundreds of lives and prevent tens of thousands of accidents should far outweigh any upfront costs. In fact, the study found that video-monitoring systems alone could reduce safety-critical events by 44 to 86 percent and overall crashes by 61 to 80 percent.

Furthermore, given such huge potential to save lives, the monetary costs of these systems are relatively small. As Transport Topics reports, to install video-based onboard monitoring costs about $300 to $750 per truck upfront along with monthly servicing costs of $20 to $60 per truck. While such costs may not be cheap, they are small in comparison to the overall value of the trucks, not to mention in comparison to the incalculable value of the lives that could be saved with such technology.

Help after an accident

Truck accidents can be particularly devastating and serious, especially for the occupants of any smaller vehicle that collides with a large truck. Furthermore, because such accidents involve not just the drivers themselves, but various other parties, such as the trucking company, the truck owners, and the insurance companies, pursuing compensation can be especially complicated. Anybody hurt in a trucking accident needs to contact a personal injury attorney immediately. Such an attorney can help clients understand what claims they may be able to make and how to most effectively pursue compensation.