Does a Truck’s Safety Technology Play a Role in an Accident Claim?

Does a Truck’s Safety Technology Play a Role in an Accident Claim?When you’re in a truck accident, whether the truck has safety technology or not can impact a lawsuit. These high-tech safety features, like systems that help avoid collisions or warn if the truck leaves its lane, play a huge role in deciding who’s liable for the accident. These technologies leave behind electronic data that acts as evidence, giving insights into what happened before the crash and helping to determine if the truck driver followed appropriate procedure. This technology not only affects who’s at fault, but can also influence insurance decisions and compensation.

What safety technology is available to trucks in Virginia?

In the ever-evolving landscape of modern trucking, safety tech is becoming increasingly important, not just for the wellbeing of truck drivers, but for the safety of everyone on the road. Fleet managers should be willing to invest in cutting-edge technologies to enhance safety protocols.

According to the 2022 Virginia Traffic Crash Facts, there were 2,981 large truck crashes in Virginia, with 60 crashes resulting in fatalities and 844 crashes leading ton injuries. With statistics like those, safety tech in tractor trailers can prove invaluable to drivers and pedestrians on the road.

Some of the top technologies shaping the trucking industry today include:

  • Driver alert systems. The issue of driver fatigue is rampant among truck drivers, and these systems play an important role in preventing accidents caused by prolonged driving. Certain tech companies offer a drowsiness detection device that evaluates various factors like time of day and steering behavior to assess a driver’s alertness.
  • Forward collision warning and mitigation systems. Targeting accidents caused by inattention, these systems use cameras and LiDAR technology to detect tailgating or unsafe proximity to other vehicles. LiDAR, which uses pulsed lasers, measures distances between objects to provide advanced capabilities in collision prevention.
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC). ESC is a vital tool for detecting defects that could lead to accidents. By observing tire movement and steering wheel activity, ESC identifies signs of slippage or loss of traction, enabling immediate corrective actions such as speed reduction or engine power adjustment.
  • Rear-view cameras. To address visual limitations, especially for large trucks, rear-view cameras offer a simple yet effective solution. Some companies use multiple cameras to provide comprehensive coverage, reduce blind spots, and enhance overall awareness.
  • AI applications in truck safety. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a game-changer for fleet managers. It aids in fleet and staff management by analyzing data from truck trips and plays a role in proactive safety measures. AI can also identify drivers struggling with safety protocols and recommend remedial coaching.

As the trucking industry embraces these advancements, the focus is shifting from reactive to proactive safety measures. Investing in these technologies not only enhances the well-being of truckers but also contributes to overall road safety.

The importance of the black box

In the aftermath of a truck accident, a truck’s black box, often in the form of an Electronic Logging Device (ELD) or Event Data Recorder (EDR), is  a key source of critical information. The black box device records essential data, including speed, braking, acceleration, and engine RPM, and provides  valuable insights into the events leading up to the crash. Accident reconstruction experts rely on this data to recreate the sequence of actions, aid in the determination of liability, and understand the dynamics of the collision.

The black box’s ability to provide precise timing of events, monitor driver behavior, and capture post-collision data enhances its role in legal proceedings. It serves as an objective and tamper-resistant record to securely preserve data, making it a powerful tool in establishing accountability, assessing compliance with regulations, and determining the effectiveness of safety measures.

How does truck safety tech affect my claim?

When it comes to truck accidents, whether the truck has safety tech or not can shape how things play out in a claim. Features like collision warnings and lane departure alerts can be game changers in determining fault for an accident. The electronic data these systems leave behind becomes useful evidence, helping to determine if the truck driver acted appropriately before the crash.

Tech like onboard cameras and telematics systems capture the entire picture of the accident with video, speed detection, and driver monitoring capability. Telematics can reveal when there were sudden stops or risky maneuvers, giving a clear glimpse at what led to the accident.

How well the driver knows and uses these safety gadgets also factors in. If a well-trained driver doesn’t use them properly, it might lead to a negligence claim. Conversely, if the driver wasn’t properly trained liability could shift to the trucking company. Insurance companies look at safety features when deciding how much to charge for coverage, and having safety tech can help when negotiating compensation for damages. If a trucking company invests in top-tier technology, this demonstrates the company’s commitment to road safety. However, if they skimp on safety features, it could suggest they’re not compliant with regulations and standards.

At Phelan Petty Injury Lawyers, we’re committed to providing help to injured truck accident victims by leveraging the details gleaned from the truck’s safety technology. If you’ve been in a truck accident, our Richmond-based attorneys will meticulously analyze the electronic data left behind. Whether it’s dissecting footage from onboard cameras or scrutinizing telematics records for insights into the truck’s actions before the crash, we use this information strategically to bolster your position. Our goal is to harness the power of safety technology data to showcase any negligence on the part of the truck driver or trucking company, ultimately maximizing your chances of securing fair compensation for your injuries and related damages. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your options, call our office or fill out our contact form. We’re here to help all Virginia residents.

Related on truck accidents in Richmond: