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The Role of Technology in Delivery Truck Accidents

The Role of Technology in Delivery Truck Accidents

Although properly trained and experienced delivery truck drivers can often limit their highway and road collisions, they still encounter far too many drunk, unlicensed, distracted, and negligent drivers traveling in nearby lanes. These same careful drivers must also regularly contend with older or poorly maintained trucks and other road vehicles that can suddenly malfunction, causing serious or even deadly accidents.

To combat these realities, many responsible trucking companies and independent truck drivers install safety technology. This helps alert drivers about their own risky driving habits — while also helping them minimize their chances of being hit or injured by uniquely dangerous drivers.

What follows is a brief look at the dangers faced by all delivery truck drivers, the types of truck safety technology equipment currently in use – and the status of autonomous or self-driving delivery trucks.

Safety remains crucial since truck driving remains one of America’s seven deadliest jobs

  • Workplace death statistics. Forty percent of all on-the-job deaths involve transportation accidents.
  • Delivery truck driving is especially dangerous. Sadly, the U. S. Bureau of Labor has noted that delivery truck drivers currently endure roughly three times more deaths and injuries than all other workplace employees.
  • Between 2016 and 2018, all truck driver deaths increased by 6.6 percent.
  • The so-called “Amazon effect.” Some experts now argue that there are increased dangers for all drivers and pedestrians since American consumers now think that rapid deliveries are a justified norm.
  • UPS drivers continue to face major safety risks. Between 2020 and 2022, these delivery drivers had to cope with nearly 1,100 accidents and 75 deaths.
  • Approximately 918 truck drivers were recently killed in just one year.

Many truck company fleet managers have recently become much more concerned about collecting safety videos and data since plaintiff recovery amounts in severe truck accidents are rising. In fact, tracking and recording all driving data has become much more crucial in all court cases. For example, in 2021, the state of Florida amended its statutes so that video driving data collected in truck accidents can now be more easily entered as evidence in summary judgment proceedings.

Dash cams are being installed by many delivery truck fleet managers

All delivery truck drivers should choose dash cams that can be easily mounted in their vehicles. For example, you can choose dashboard dash cams – or you can install them on the windshield. You can then turn on or adjust them, so they’ll become driver-facing, road-facing, or dual-facing devices. Dash cams can be set up to automatically turn on when the truck’s electrical system is engaged – or they can be manually activated. Some drivers just turn them on in heavy traffic or when making deliveries.

  1. Taping time available. This simply depends on the number of GB your dash cam has. However, better models feature “loop recording” delivery-truck-new-york-law that can continue added taping.
  2. Any taping possible while the vehicle is turned off? Typically, no. If you do make added time adjustments, it’s still suggested that you have a periodic “shut-off” time so your battery will not wear out too quickly.
  3. How can you view the footage recorded? Most dash cams are either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth enabled. They come with an SD card so you can view the footage on your own preferred video device.Note: Some of the newest dash cams offer excellent new safety features. For example, some models can send a special text message to a designated contact in case of a “severe impact.” Other models allow you to use your dash cam as a “security camera” while your truck is unattended or parked somewhere.

How GPS technology can help increase safety for delivery drivers

  • Optimized routing. Delivery truck fleet managers can use some of the highly detailed GPS data to better understand current traffic conditions – while also helping them reroute drivers to safer or more efficient routes.
  • Cargo thefts can be better monitored – keeping everyone safer and decreasing losses. Depending on the data gathered, fleet managers can determine if extra or unauthorized trips are being made – which can indicate cargo thefts. Also, geofences can be used or created by GPS technology, helping delivery truck fleet managers create virtual geographic boundaries for tracking and analyzing all trips made during certain delivery work shifts. These types of “fences” also trigger a response, alerting delivery route managers to possible crimes taking place during non-work hours.
  • Some GPS trackers can increase driver safety by carefully monitoring special driving behaviors. For example, a driver’s speed can be tracked by some GPS technology, as well as acceleration habits, and brake usage. Managers can warn the drivers whose data indicates troubling or potentially dangerous behavior.

Additional truck driver monitoring software and gear

  • Driver fatigue monitoring. The Rear-View Safety company markets a device that they claim can detect driver drowsiness in a timely enough manner to avert some accidents. Other companies sell glasses that can detect and record a delivery truck driver’s eye blinking patterns that may indicate major fatigue or sleepiness.
  • Savvy law enforcement officers are now tracking distracted driver behaviors. Aware that many truck drivers refuse to stop playing with their phones while driving, some officers have now obtained grants to cover the high cost of useful AI software. In North Carolina, a new “Heads Up” device is being used. It takes many pictures of all passing commercial motor vehicles – particularly photos of the driver’s cabin and the license plates. These pictures are then sent to law enforcement personnel, helping them readily determine if they should issue citations to drivers for not wearing their seatbelts or distracted driving.

Autonomous or completely self-driving delivery trucks – are they fully functional now?

Autonomous trucking is a term now used to describe tractor-trailers that are self-driving – and capable of transporting goods across the country. Promoters of these vehicles hope they’ll provide greater delivery efficiency, while also decreasing chances of harm to delivery truck drivers. At present, a limited number of these types of trucks are operating in the U.S., mainly in the Southwest. Of course, many companies are still having “safety drivers” ride onboard, in case they need to suddenly take control of everything to prevent accidents. At least one expert has noted that while autonomous trucks have become a reality, they haven’t become a norm.

  1. Names of companies now using these types of vehicles. These companies include Kodiak Robotics, Embark, Einride, Torc Robotics, Gatik, TuSimple, Waabi, and Waabo.
  2. Types of onboard safety technology that helps run these self-driving vehicles. Many autonomous trucks employ a sensing technology like LiDar. It uses light, optical radar, and optical cameras to gather visual information from the area that a truck is passing through (so it can make proper driving decisions).
  3. Are many companies also building delivery trucks that use this specialized software? No, they build modules for their software and other companies build the trucks. Stated differently, those who write the software carefully integrate all the required forms of artificial intelligence so that it blends in well with all the required maps, sensors, algorithms, and tools of perception that take the place of human drivers.
  4. Unique and special challenges remain for employing more self-driving delivery trucks.a) Key problems remain regarding how to get these types of trucks on and off the highways. The human ability to judge the speed and trajectory of other vehicles is still not easily captured. This might be because all highway drivers tend to be a bit distracted, often changing lanes suddenly and failing to watch what other drivers are doing or signaling.b) Unpredictable weather conditions. While slick road conditions have always posed major challenges to human drivers – they can create almost insurmountable issues when erratic storms are passing through an area. For example, once other trucks or passenger vehicles begin hydroplaning, delivery truck accident technology cannot easily guarantee the full safety required.

    c) Traveling across miles of highways where numerous work zone repairs are being made. It’s likely that onboard “safety drivers” must often take over the driving while passing through or near these areas.

    d) All states do not currently allow autonomous trucks to use their highways. Only about half of all 50 states permit autonomous delivery trucks on their freeways. This greatly complicates using these trucks for long haul deliveries.

    e) Creative blending of truck driver talents needs to be better developed. Companies using autonomous or self-driving trucks realize that they may need to keep a pool of specially trained drivers available. These individuals might simply oversee getting the vehicles on and off area freeways, while other drivers might be placed in charge of getting the autonomous trucks between the desired starting points or cities.

All delivery truck drivers should keep updating their training since poor driving habits are now regularly recorded with individual and fleet monitoring technologies. And this information often proves crucial in proving that truck drivers and their employers must be held liable in truck accident lawsuits.

If you have suffered serious injuries after an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you need to contact our New York City delivery truck accident law firm. We will carefully investigate all the facts of your case, review all your medical records, and then fight hard to win the maximum compensation available to you. We want every client to fully recover for all lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses, and other losses.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most common causes of delivery truck accidents?

Some of the most common causes of delivery truck accidents include:

  • Driver fatigue – Truck drivers often drive long hours and don't get adequate rest. Drowsy driving can lead to slowed reaction times and impaired judgement.

  • Speeding – Trucks going above the speed limit have less time to react and stop, increasing accident risk.

  • Distracted driving – Actions like texting, eating, or looking at a map take the driver's eyes and focus off the road.

  • Improper maintenance – Brake failure, bald tires, broken lights and other maintenance issues can cause wrecks.

  • Jackknifing – This is when the trailer swings out and slides at an angle. It's often caused by rapid braking or turning.

What types of injuries are common in delivery truck crashes?

Due to the large size and weight of delivery trucks, accidents often result in catastrophic injuries such as:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord damage leading to paralysis
  • Amputations
  • Severe fractures and crush injuries
  • Organ damage and internal bleeding
  • Burn injuries

The complex physics of a semi truck striking a smaller vehicle exposes occupants to devastating forces.

Should I get a lawyer for a delivery truck accident claim?

Yes, it is highly recommended to consult a truck accident attorney after any collision involving a delivery truck. These cases can be legally complex.

Large trucking companies and their insurance carriers often fight aggressively against claims. An experienced lawyer levels the playing field and handles the demands of your case so you can focus on recovery.

How can lawyers prove truck driver negligence?

Lawyers use investigative resources like truck GPS records, driver logs, company manuals, and witness accounts to build a negligence case.

A truck driver may be deemed negligent if they were speeding, distracted, impaired, violating rest rules, or inadequately trained. Poor truck maintenance and unsafe loading practices also bolster a claim.

What damages can a delivery truck accident claim recover?

You may be entitled to economic damages like medical bills, lost income, and property loss. Pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium are examples of non-economic damages.

A spouse or family may file a wrongful death claim after a fatal crash. Your lawyer will pursue full and fair compensation.

How much is my delivery truck accident claim worth?

The value depends on case specifics like injuries, liability, and insurance coverage. Severe injuries warrant higher damages. Clear negligence strengthens a case. Many policies have $1 million minimums.

An attorney thoroughly investigates to maximize claim value. Verdicts and settlements commonly exceed $1 million.

How long does it take to resolve a truck accident lawsuit?

It typically takes 12-24 months for a settlement. Complex cases can exceed 2 years. Quick resolution depends on prompt investigation, organized records, and cooperative insurers.

Lawyers actively pursue compensation while you focus on medical recovery. Don't rush into a lowball settlement offer.

Who pays for my lawyer in a truck accident claim?

Personal injury attorneys work on contingency, meaning no upfront fees. They front case costs, and take a percentage of your settlement or award.

Trucking companies and insurers pay your lawyer's fees and expenses if you win compensation. You owe nothing if your case is unsuccessful.