Everyone knows that the occupants of passenger cars and other small vehicles are vulnerable to severe injury in a crash with a big rig.

Researchers find that adding advanced safety features to large trucks have the potential to prevent thousands of truck-related crashes every year.

Results of a study

In 2017, the nonprofit research organization AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released the results of a study entitled “Leveraging Large Truck Technology and Engineering to Realize Safety Gains.” The study looked at the benefits of equipping large trucks with four advanced safety features.

Recommended technology

The study estimated that the benefits of equipping large trucks with the latest safety technologies could prevent up to 63,000 truck-related roadway crashes annually. The recommendations included:

  • Automatic emergency braking system, which could apply brakes in case the truck driver does not do so in time to avoid a crash
  • Lane departure warning systems to alert the driver when the truck is drifting out of its lane
  • Air disc brakes to provide performance and maintenance benefits
  • Video-based onboard safety monitoring system allowing an employer to monitor driving performance with feedback to the driver

Safety first

The report also provided safety tips for motorists driving near big rigs. Drivers of smaller vehicles need to follow large trucks at a safe distance and stay clear of their blind spots. Motorists should also allow ample room between a car and the truck in front when coming to a stop on a hill in case the truck should roll back. Giving large trucks plenty of room to maneuver will add an extra layer of safety for the motorist even if the big rig in the next lane is one of those with the latest technological advancements.