Truck drivers have been hard pressed during the COVID-19 pandemic in satisfying the increased demands for various products and goods. Unfortunately, the increased need is coming at a time when there is a shortage of drivers and an increased risk for truck accidents. To lure in truck drivers, fleet providers are adding safety features to semi-trucks, tractor trailers, and other big rigs. These work to make the job easier and help prevent truck accidents, reducing potential liability for drivers and the companies they work for.
Reducing Truck Accident Risks
Truck accidents continue to be a major problem on highways and interstates throughout Portland and across the country. The increased demands for deliveries of groceries and medical supplies during the pandemic only makes matters worse. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), truck accidents have reached record highs in recent years and show no signs of declining in the future. Among the most common causes include:
- Adverse weather, road, and traffic conditions;
- Reckless behavior on the part of the driver, such as speeding, distracted driving, and driving under the influence;
- Uneven or improperly secured loads, which can cause shifting during transit, resulting in rollover accidents;
- Poor truck maintenance, which increases the likelihood a truck accident will happen;
- Negligent trucking company policies, such as overscheduling drivers and not allowing adequate breaks, increasing drowsy driving risks.
Unfortunately, when truck accidents happen, other motorists on the road often suffer the most serious harm. In these cases, both the truck driver and the trucking company they work for can be held liable in a claim.
Safety Features Protect Drivers and Other Motorists on the Road
With the increased number of truck accidents and injuries, trucking companies find themselves having to dip into profits to cover their own liability in claims. They also find themselves facing a distinct lack of experienced drivers willing to take the risks.
Despite the pandemic, many are addressing long-standing problems by investing in newer rigs and offering more flexible leasing terms for drivers. According to a June 2020 report by Frieghtwaves, trucking companies are also equipping their rigs with safety features designed to prevent accidents and reduce the severity of injuries. These include:
- Electronic stability controls, designed to reduce rollovers and jackknife accidents;
- Automatic braking, which reduces speeds on inclines and helps to prevent rear-end collisions;
- Lane centering systems, which can help to prevent side swipe accidents when passing other motorists;
- Lane departure warnings, which can warn drivers when the truck gets too close to guardrails, medians, or other vehicles;
- Self-driving features, which take some of the pressure off drivers and can help when backing up and making turns.
These may not prevent a truck accident, but they may reduce the severity and the liability truck companies face.
Let Us Help You Today
Trucking companies have teams of attorneys on their side, ready to defend them against claims. Get the Johnston Law Firm P.C., on yours. Call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland truck accident attorneys online and request a consultation today.