Young & McCarthy LLP

Truck safety technology rapidly improving

Large trucks operating on Ohio roadways have seen significant safety improvements in recent years thanks to new technologies. According to Penske Logistics' vice president of safety logistics, the amount of new safety technology to arrive on the market in the last decade is overwhelming. Some of the developments are simple, like emergency braking and backup alarms, he said, and the use of video monitoring systems has led to higher safety scores and lower total incident numbers.

Video monitoring technology has been employed by both Penske Logistics and truck manufacturer Mack Trucks to better driving training and identify maintenance and safety issues. Penske Logistics makes use of cameras facing into the cab and out onto the road. The cameras, from SmartDrive, are event-triggered, meaning they record when risk events occur. The term risk event includes near-collisions, hard-braking incidents and other situations. The Penske vice president said video is a strong training tool for drivers because they can learn from the risk events of others as well as their own.

He said video can be utilized similarly to how coaches use game film to prepare their athletes. Mack Trucks equips its vehicles with a system that monitors how the truck is functioning. Called Mack Connect, the technology uses predictive analytics, driver-assist and software to alert the driver to a service issue or vehicle trouble before it arises. Mack Connect can get large trucks to the repair shop before a safety issue fully manifests.

Better safety technology should translate into fewer large truck accidents on Ohio highways. People who are injured in truck accidents might be entitled to compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, medical bills or other damages. An attorney with experience in personal injury law might be able to help injured parties by identifying parties who have liability or by negotiating settlement with trucking companies.

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