WASHINGTON, D.C. — New research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests that large trucks equipped with advanced safety technologies can prevent up to 63,000 truck-related crashes each year.
According to AAA, in 2015, large trucks were involved in more than 400,000 crashes that resulted in more than 4,000 deaths and 116,000 injuries — a 4% increase from 2014. AAA recommends that all large trucks, both existing and new, get equipped with cost effective technologies that improve safety for everyone on the road.
“There’s no question that truck safety technology saves lives,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for traffic safety. “This new research shows that the benefits of adding many of these technologies to trucks clearly outweigh the cost.”
The report, Leveraging Large Truck Technology and Engineering to Realize Safety Gains, examined the safety benefits and costs of installing four advanced safety technologies in both existing and new large trucks: lane departure warning systems; automatic emergency braking; air disc brakes; and video-based onboard safety monitoring systems.
Researchers found that the safety benefits i.e. lives saves, injuries prevented) outweight the costs of the systems purchased.
Research found that:
Lane departure warning systems can prevent up to 6,372 crashes, 1,342 injuries and 115 deaths each year.
Video-based onboard safety monitoring systems can prevent as many as 63,000 crashes, 17,733 injuries and 293 deaths each year.
Automatic emergency braking can prevent up to 5,294 crashes, 2,753 injuries and 55 deaths each year.
Air disc brakes can prevent up to 2,411 crashes, 1,447 injuries and 37 deaths each year.
Additionally, a recent AAA survey found that 61% of American adults feel less safe driving past a commercial truck than they do passing a passenger car.
The top three reasons are:
Trucks’ large size and length (28%)
Trucks have greater blind spots/less visibility (18%)
Trucks can drift or swerve out of their lane (14%)
However 26% of U.S. adults say adding safety technology to large trucks would help them feel better about sharing the road.
“It’s understandable that many motorists are fearful and feel vulnerable when traveling near large trucks,” said Jake Nelson, AAA director of traffic safety advocacy and research. “Adding these safety technologies to the trucking fleet is not only cost effective, but doing so helps to alleviate driver concerns and prevents crashes. In the long run, it’s a win-win for industry and drivers nationwide.”