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Are tractor-trailers safe?

Large trucks play an essential role in commerce in New Jersey and across the United States. However, no matter how much you appreciate that tractor-trailer full of goods, you may feel uncomfortable driving beside one, and you are far from alone. In fact, according to a study performed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 61 percent of adults in America feel less safe beside a large truck than they do another passenger vehicle.

You may share two of the primary reasons behind the discomfort that those in the survey shared: the trucker has limited visibility because of blind spots and truck length, and there is the potential for trucks to leave their lanes. These fears are not unfounded. Data indicates that there were over 400,000 truck crashes in 2015, resulting over 116,000 injuries and 4,000 fatalities. According to AAA research, approximately 63,000 of those crashes could be prevented if every new truck is equipped with the following four safety features:

  • Air disc brakes
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning system
  • Video-based onboard safety monitoring system

The good news is that the truck next to you could already have this technology. Although these systems are not mandatory, many manufacturers and companies see the benefits and have proactively installed them. 

Because the systems are not mandatory, though, you have to assume that the truck driver may still be dealing with large blind spots on either side of the trailer, and for a considerable distance behind as well. Staying out of these areas and allowing plenty of following distance could save your life.

This information is educational in nature, and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

 

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