Sophisticated safety systems, like the ones that currently exist on many models of automobiles, can substantially reduce truck accident risks. However, the trucking industry has remained largely skeptical of the benefits of these systems.
Data indicates that there has been an increase in the number of truck accidents in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2016, more than 4,300 fatalities involved people in accidents with tractor-trailers or big rigs. That is an increase of 5.4% from the previous year.
There is still more data that reveals that safety systems could help mitigate those risks, and that the trucking industry has resisted using these technologies. For instance, in 2015, only about 15% of commercial truck fleets in the country came equipped with forward collision warning systems or collision mitigation systems. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that as many as 107,000 accidents every year could be prevented if trucks came equipped with technologies that have been proven to help reduce the risk of accidents. These technologies include blind spot warning systems and electronic stability control systems.