A new AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report found that truck safety technologies can prevent as many as 77,077 crashes, 23,275 injuries, and the loss of 500 lives per year. 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 existing and new large trucks.
In 2015, large trucks were involved in more than 400,000 crashes that resulted in more than 4,000 deaths and 116,000 injuries.
AAA Report Illustrates Potential Impact of Individual Safety Technologies
AAA recommends that all large trucks – those already on the road as well as new trucks – be equipped with cost effective technologies that improve safety on the road.
AAA explored each of these technologies separately in their report, including video-based onboard safety monitoring systems, lane departure warning systems, automatic emergency braking systems, and air disc brakes.
Researchers concluded that the economic value of lives saved and injuries prevented involved in equipping large trucks with lane departure warning and video-based onboard safety monitoring systems far outweigh the costs. 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.
Further, the benefits of equipping all new trucks with automatic braking or air disc brakes could also outweigh costs. 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.
Drivers of Passenger Vehicles Surveyed About Large Truck Safety
Six out of ten U.S. adults feel less safe driving past large commercial trucks than driving past passenger cars, according to a AAA survey conducted in parallel with the AAA Foundation’s research. Drivers gave the top three reasons why:
- Trucks’ large size and length (28 percent)
- Trucks have greater blind spots/less visibility (18 percent)
- Trucks can drift or swerve out of their lane (14 percent)
Twenty six percent of U.S. adults said that adding safety technology to large trucks would help them feel safer when sharing the road.