Driverless technology being tested in some trucks

Driverless vehicle technology may be first used in the trucking industry. It is still too early to know if this new technology may save lives.

With the demand always heavy for goods across the country, the chances are likely that large trucks will be a common sight on interstates for a long time to come. It is common knowledge that truck crashes are among the deadliest type of accidents that residents in Maryland, as well as the rest of the nation, can face. Researchers and developers are always looking for ways to make America's roadways safer. These may include groundbreaking new technology meant to remove much of the human error present in many accidents, semi collisions included.

For those whose lives have been permanently affected by a truck collision, innovative safety measures cannot come soon enough. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 691 people were killed and 24,000 were injured in accidents involving large trucks across the country in 2013. Out of those fatalities, 59 were in Maryland.

Human error frequently contributes to truck crashes

There are numerous factors that often cause trucks to crash, according to State Farm. These include:

  • Driver fatigue
  • Distracted driving
  • Faulty vehicle maintenance or loading
  • Poor traffic or weather conditions

In many cases, serious truck crashes could have been prevented if drivers had been more attentive or had adequate rest before getting behind the wheel.

Can self-driving trucks prevent accidents?

The goal of some new types of automotive technology is to prevent more people from being injured or killed in accidents by removing certain aspects of human error. One application that is currently being tested in Europe and some parts of the United States involves driverless vehicles, states TechHive. Experts predict the commercial trucking industry will be the first to benefit from such technology by being able to utilize fleets of up to three driverless trucks following a truck with a driver.

This program is already said to have saved fuel and reduced emissions where it is being tested in Europe. It may solve an ongoing driver shortage problem in the United States, and has the potential to prevent some types of accidents. However, additional testing must still be done in order to see the effects this type of technology could have across interstates in a variety of traffic conditions. It might also open up new legal questions, such as who would be liable for an accident caused by a driverless truck.

Whether you were injured in an accident caused by a truck driver or by new technology, you may be eligible for compensation if the accident was not your fault. It is important to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible following an accident.

Keywords: truck, accident, injury