What to do when truckers manipulate safety tech

Truckers in California and throughout the country are finding ways to manipulate and disable the safety devices in their vehicles. Through the help of YouTube videos, they are disconnecting in-cab cameras or sliding a business card behind them. Individuals are disabling steering-wheel sensors and unplugging speakers, plugging them back in again when they reach the shop.

Truckers have learned how to disable the radar by lining the inside of the cover with aluminum foil. They also push the button for the lane departure switch and stick paper in it so that it cannot work. By doing this, truckers can drive negligently without anyone finding out, and truck fleet owners are basically wasting their money on new technology.

This issue was the focus of a safety systems seminar during the yearly meeting of the Technology & Maintenance Council, which took place in Atlanta. The speaker, who is Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems’ regional director and an experienced instructor in heavy-duty truck systems, believes that truckers do not trust the technology partly because they have not been properly introduced to it.

Thus, truck fleet owners have a responsibility to train their employees on the new tech, explaining what it can and cannot do. Technicians should also be competent enough to troubleshoot and repair systems. Otherwise, truckers will not be heard when they complain about a system malfunctioning.

When such truck accidents take place, there are laws in place that give victims the right to seek compensatory damages. If a trucker was driving distracted, drunk, drowsy or in some other negligent way, victims may file a claim against the trucking company, but they may want a lawyer by their side. This may be helpful during the settlement negotiation process.