Florida is among those states with the highest average rates of fatal large truck crashes, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Given that Florida large truck accidents often cause catastrophic injuries (usually to occupants of other vehicles), it's incumbent upon both regulators and commercial trucking manufacturers, carriers and drivers to do what they can to address this problem.
Trucking industry lagging behind
Consumer Reports recently summarized an analysis by Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE) that revealed only about 15 percent of the country's large commercial truck fleets had crash avoidance or mitigation technology systems.
A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety projected that if large trucks were outfitted with these systems, such as blind spot warnings, lane-departure warnings, and forward collision mitigation systems, it could reduce large truck crashes by nearly one-third (28 percent). That would amount to roughly 107,000 fewer large truck accidents in the U.S.
Regulators, safety advocates, and industry experts insist manufacturers of these large trucks, as well as operators, need to be taking a more proactive approach in ensuring these systems come standard in bigger vehicles. Tractor-trailers weigh an average of 40 tons, while the average passenger vehicle weighs just 2 tons. That size differential makes a huge difference in terms of crash severity - and whether a collision is fatal.
Responsibility still falls on the driver
Some truck drivers say they are supportive of these new technology systems, which would undoubtedly help reduce accidents. However, technology alone is not yet able to substitute for a skilled and responsible driver. Business Insider reports Tesla and other companies have been committed to bringing driverless truck technology to the forefront, and our Seminole County personal injury lawyers are watching legal developments carefully. For the time being, however, the trucking industry needs to incorporate safety technology and commit to hiring well-trained, experienced drivers who make safety their top priority.