Platooning tractor-trailers, eighteen wheelers, and commercial trucks are becoming the new norm thanks to advancements in technology. However, new technology doesn’t mean that platooning trucks are now incapable of causing accidents. Safety measures still need to be developed in the trucking industry due to the extremely high number of trucking accidents that occur every year.
Statistics of Trucking Accidents
In 2016, of the 4,317 people who died in accidents involving large trucks, 72 percent were in passenger cars. In total, trucking accidents make up a relatively small percentage of fatal crashes (11 percent), according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Although fatalities associated with trucking accidents are low in comparison to car accidents, ten percent of fatal truck accidents are caused by rear-end crashes, making platooning seem extremely dangerous.
When two tractor-trailers travel at a distance of 30 to 50 feet it is referred to as platooning. While the act might seem dangerous to other drivers, it may become the new norm in the trucking industry. Platooning can save money in fuel costs and provide a safer roadway environment.
Platooning is possible due to advancements in technology that use the internet to send communications between vehicles. Trucks with capable communication equipment including GPS tracking, cameras, advanced cruise control, and radar based-collision avoidance, are paired to send information to one another.
Information shared includes engine torque, vehicle speed, and brake application of the leading truck, while front-facing cameras provide visuals of the road ahead. As the front truck provides information to the following truck, both trucks can then operate with the same schedule and movements.
Flaws in technology and communication systems may lead to unsafe driving conditions for platooning truck drivers. Without a reliable source of communication, two large trucks barreling down the highway can result in an accident due to the limited amount of space between them, especially if an accident occurs ahead of them.
For drivers unfamiliar with the concept of platooning, the new method of truck driving might pose risks due to driver negligence. Distracted driving may also become an issue on the road for passenger vehicles, as drivers may focus too much attention on platooning trucks, causing them to get into an accident on their own. Drivers may also attempt to cut in between platooning trucks, which could result in a fatal collision.
While trucking companies are making more of an effort to prevent accidents, technological failure, slow reaction time, and severe weather conditions can prove to be a problem for platooning vehicles.
Delaware Truck Accident Lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC Assist Truck Accident Victims
Unsafe driving conditions and distracted driving may result in a trucking accident at any time. If you or someone you know has experienced an accident following an incident of tailgating or platooning, contact a Delaware truck accident lawyer at McCann & Wall, LLC. To schedule an initial consultation, contact us online or call 302-888-1221.