Recent data shows that commercial trucks are responsible for transporting as much as 80% of all products sold in the United States, meaning there are record numbers of trucks on the road. With this increase in trucks on the road, more and more companies are introducing new technology to help make sure that cargo is transported on time and to create a more competitive environment for truck drivers. This technology includes GPS trackers, telematics (a type of communication system), dynamic routing systems, forward-facing cameras (to ensure that drivers have their eyes on the road), collision mitigation technology, driver scorecards and electronic logging devices, and more.
While these devices may be positioned as safety features, are they actually causing an increase in trucking accidents? Here at Inkelaar Law, our commercial truck accident lawyers in Tampa have a few interesting points to share to help you understand the role of technology in accidents and what your rights are after a commercial trucking accident.
Before we can talk about the potential impact of new trucking technology and regulations, we first should touch on a few key statistics.
With the increase in commercial trucking traffic comes a significant increase in commercial trucking accidents involving injuries and fatalities. In fact, the most recent data available shows a few interesting trends:
It is easy to see these numbers and wonder if the rise in technology use might be a contributing factor. While it is true that many truck drivers report an increase in stress levels due to technology and pressures to meet unrealistic delivery deadlines, statistically more accidents are caused by mechanical failures and unsafe braking.
There has also been a major push to create regulations that will help technology change trucking for good. Federal laws now also restrict the number of hours that truck drivers can spend behind the wheel to 14 hours per day, and have mandatory rest periods during the drive if there hasn’t been a minimum of 8 hours since the driver’s last haul. This is monitored by the use of electronic logging devices, which are now an industry standard in large trucks. In this way, technology has actually played an important role in decreasing accidents and fatalities by providing crucial insights into the habits of drivers to both business owners and legislators.
You can attribute technology to more than regulation of driver breaks as well. Since the introduction of electronic stability control, this technology has reportedly saved about 7,000 lives according to data from 2015.
Put simply, new technology is likely not to blame for the rise in trucking accidents.
If you’ve been in an accident with a commercial truck, whether it was caused by technology or negligence, you have the right to hire an attorney to help you file a claim. With so many factors in trucking accidents, and potentially multiple parties involved, our commercial vehicle accident attorneys in Tampa will help you understand the options available to you. Contacting an attorney with Inkelaar Law in Tampa is the first step in holding the responsible parties accountable and getting you the compensation you deserve.