- Distractions: truckers are like other motorists who are too often distracted by in-dash infotainment systems, eye-catching graphics in GPS systems, employer tracking gadgets, phones (handheld and handsfree both), etc. The distractions take truckers’ eyes off of the roads and traffic, which means the likelihood of crashes rises dramatically.
- Impairment: years of research documents the dangers of drunk and drugged driving.
- Speeding: because commercial trucks are so big and heavy, they take more time and distance to stop – and when they’re driven at high speeds, both time and distance are increased.
Could self-driving 18-wheelers bring an end to commercial big rig wrecks? As we all know, San Antonio has interstate highways roaring around the city and cutting through it, carrying travelers and big trucks in and out. Like all major American cities, we depend on those 18-wheelers to bring groceries, medical supplies and many other essential goods that are especially important in these uncertain times. Unfortunately, those rigs are large and heavy, which makes them difficult to maneuver and slow to bring to a stop. It’s also unfortunate that trucking industry pay rates are usually structured to motivate truckers to go as fast as they can for as long as they can, which means they will often engage in unsafe driving behaviors that result in commercial truck crashes, severe injuries and fatalities – especially to those unlucky enough to be in involved in the violent wrecks in much smaller, much lighter passenger vehicles. One possible way to reduce – or even eliminate – commercial truck accidents is being worked on in multiple parts of the country: autonomous freight trucks. Self-driving 18-wheelers would reduce overhead for the trucking industry in many ways. Perhaps first and foremost, it would eliminate the need for truck drivers and their wages, health insurance, unemployment insurance, etc. Autonomous trucks would also not have to pull over in rest stops to allow truckers to get some needed sleep. As we know, fatigue is one of the major common causes of big rig wrecks. Other causes include the following: