Some trucking companies are taking technology to a new level through adaptive cruise control. It’s not a new concept, as certain model consumer vehicles come equipped with it. Now some would like to see it used in the trucking industry. But is this a good idea?
How does adaptive cruise control work?
The system comes with a radar system located in the front of the truck that interacts with the truck’s brakes. On the steering wheel the driver uses a button to select speed.
Under certain conditions, it controls braking and speed. It’s not completely automated, however. It allows the driver to take over if the need arises. At all times the driver maintains control of steering.
Does adaptive cruise control make trucks safer?
One of the benefits for the trucking industry is that it saves money on fuel. It is also believed to help drivers focus more fully on driving. As a result, some believe it can prevent accidents, especially rear-end crashes.
Whether it’s a convoy of trucks or a semi following a passenger car, the system alerts if the truck gets too close. Those who have tested this technology find truck drivers are more observant because of the warnings. Another feature is that it adapts the truck’s speed to the flow of traffic, keeping a safe distance between vehicles.
Only time will tell if adaptive cruise control is a good idea. Concepts such as this and self-driving cars take some of the control away from the driver, which some might find scary. It could be a plus when encountering someone behind the wheel that’s tired or distracted. But at the same time, having this technology may lead some to engage in distracted behaviors, believing the technology is sufficient to prevent an accident.
How do I know if its driver error or faulty equipment that causes a truck crash?
When someone gets seriously injured in a truck accident, it’s important to seek legal counsel. An attorney can investigate the situation to determine liability.
If the driver is at fault, there must be proof. For instance, testimony from someone who observed careless or reckless driving, which might include drifting into the lane or changing lanes without signaling. A police report can sometimes help show fault, such as when it indicates the truck driver received a citation.
A police report can reveal if a truck driver:
- ran a red light;
- failed an alcohol breath test; or
- was speeding.
Uncovering equipment problems will take some investigative work. One way to show this is through records maintained at the trucking company, which could show a failed inspection or a failure to repair a known problem (such as the brakes).
Also, physical evidence (the truck itself) can help establish when faulty equipment is to blame. You may have to send a spoliation letter to the trucking company to prevent destruction of this and other evidence.
If a truck’s cruise control failed to adapt to traffic conditions, it might indicate liability of the part manufacturer, though the driver may also be responsible for failing to manually adjust speed. It’s important to work with an attorney who is familiar with these types of cases. Call Cordisco & Saile if you were in an accident in the Bristol, PA area. Contact us at 215-642-2335 or via our online contact form.