WASHINGTON — The Alliance for Driver Safety and Security, also known as the Trucking Alliance, has adopted four truck safety technologies that the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety concludes are critical to reduce large truck crashes and saving lives.
A new AAA Foundation report, “Leveraging Large Truck Technology and Engineering to Realize Safety Gains,” examined the costs and safety benefits of installing four advanced safety technologies in large trucks:
While the AAA Foundation’s report acknowledges that “many large commercial fleets have begun equipping trucks with these advanced safety technologies,” the Trucking Alliance is the first U.S. carrier-based organization to adopt these technologies as conditions for membership, which currently includes Swift Transportation, J.B. Hunt Transport, US Xpress, Knight Transportation, KLLM Transport Services, Maverick USA, Dupre Logistics and Cargo Transporters.
“These technologies can make the highways safer for our drivers and the public and that’s why the Trucking Alliance carriers are installing them on new trucks,” said Steve Williams, the group’s president. “The AAA Foundation report shows how these automated technologies can help commercial drivers and motorists avoid accidents and return home safely to their families.”
The AAA Foundation report found that by installing automatic braking systems and air disc brakes on all new trucks, 7,705 accidents, 92 deaths and 4,200 injuries could be avoided.
The report also projected that if onboard cameras and lane departure warning systems were installed on all new and existing commercial trucks, another 69,372 large truck accidents could be avoided, saving 408 lives and 24,105 injuries.
“AAA applauds the Trucking Alliance for taking such an important step toward improving safety on U.S. roads,” said Marshall Doney, president and CEO of AAA. “Adding key safety technologies to fleets is critical if we are to reverse the growing rate of crash deaths on our roadways and we are glad to see the Trucking Alliance is making such a strong commitment to safety.”
The AAA Foundation noted that large trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds drove approximately 280 billion miles on U.S. roads in 2015 and were involved in more than 400,000 crashes, which resulted in 116,000 injuries and 4,067 deaths.
Advances in these safety technologies can “provide the opportunity to prevent substantial numbers of these crashes, injuries, and deaths,” the report stated.
“The trucking industry can’t be satisfied until we dramatically reduce the number of injuries and loss of life from large truck crashes,” Williams said. “We must ensure that truck drivers are well trained, well rested, drug and alcohol free, and operating trucks with the latest technologies.”
“There’s no question that truck safety technology saves lives,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, in a statement related to the study. “This new research shows that the benefits of adding many of these technologies to trucks clearly outweigh the cost.”
Collectively, Trucking Alliance companies employ 80,200 professionals, and operates 71,000 trucks and 220,000 trailers/intermodal containers to provide transportation and logistics solutions.
AAA is a federation of affiliated motor clubs employing more than 40,000 people to provide services to more than 56 million members in the United States and Canada.