As technology grows more and more sophisticated within the automobile industry, experts are developing ways to make the most dangerous trucks on the road safer.
Here are a few accident risks semi-truck drivers no longer need to face, thanks to new safety devices.
Mechanisms to stop lane drifting have been tried before. Many of us have experienced the rumble strips on the road that are meant to catch the attention of a drifting driver.
However, new lane departure warning systems can help to take this method one step further. This innovation uses sensors on the road to detect when a driver is drifting out of his or her lane. It then alerts the driver with an alarm. This same alert will also sound if a driver turns on their blinker while another car is in the truck’s blind spot.
In some newer models, the steering wheel may even automatically adjust to keep the driver in his or her lane.
Braking in time
A semi-truck can weight up to 80,000 pounds in the U.S. With this much weight to carry, stopping on a dime is nearly impossible. As a result, many semi-truck crashes are rear-end accidents, which can be deadly for small cars ahead.
To help these big trucks stop faster, experts have innovated air disc brakes (ADBs) and automatic emergency braking (AEB). Both mechanisms use sensors to detect the speed and proximity of the car ahead to gage when it’s time to use the brakes. Then, the system warns the driver and automatically applies the brakes if the driver does not respond accordingly.
Seeing ahead of a semi truck
Another common scenario that leads to semi-truck crashes is when a smaller vehicle behind a semi-truck wants to pass, but cannot see far enough ahead to make an informed decision. To correct this, new video-based onboard monitoring systems are available for truck drivers to show cars behind them what’s ahead.
It works by placing a large video wall on the back of the semi to display footage from a camera at the front of the truck. Vehicles driving behind the truck can look to the display to see road conditions ahead in real time. These displays are dust- and water-proof to provide the clearest picture of the road ahead.
All of these technologies work to improve safety for passenger vehicles and semi-truck drivers.