Trucking Alliance Backs AAA’s Truck Safety Recommendations

semi truck driving down highway

The Alliance for Driver Safety & Security, also known as The Trucking Alliance, has announced its support of the AAA’s recent report: Leveraging Large Truck Technology and Engineering to Realize Safety Gains. Representing over 71,000 trucks on US roads, The Trucking Alliance is a partnership of freight and logistics companies advocating for increased safety reform in an effort to create a safer environment for both truckers and the general public.

On November 1st, they announced that carriers must adopt the same truck-safety technologies AAA has deemed critical to reducing large truck crashes in order to qualify for new membership.

Endorsed Safety Technologies

The Trucking Alliance examined the costs and safety benefits of installing large trucks with the following four safety technologies detailed in AAA’s new Foundation Report:

  • Lane Departure Warning Systems to alert the driver when the vehicle drifts out of its lane.
  • Video-based Onboard Safety Monitoring Systems that utilize in-vehicle cameras and sensors.
  • Automatic Emergency Braking Systems that detect when the truck is too close to the vehicle in front of it and automatically applies the brakes.
  • Air Disc Brakes (ADBs), which are superior to traditional drum brakes in their reduced stopping distance.

The AAA Foundation’s report also notes that many large commercial fleets have already begun utilizing these technologies with their trucks, though the Trucking Alliance is the first US carrier organization to require them for membership. The report estimates that 7,705 accidents, 92 deaths and 4,200 injuries could be avoided by installing automatic braking and air disc brakes on all new trucks. Installing onboard cameras and lane departure warning systems could also avoid another 69,372 commercial truck accidents, saving 408 lives and 24,105 injuries.

More Advanced Safety Technologies for Large Trucks

Endorsed Safety Technologies
Endorsed Safety Technologies

The Trucking Alliance stated that there is an additional variety of safety features available or under development for large trucks, including:

  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • “Blind Spot” Warning Systems
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Roll Stability Control
  • Speed Limiters
  • Kinematic-based Onboard Safety Monitoring Systems
  • Vehicle-to-vehicle Communication
  • Electronic Logging Devices
  • Brake Stroke Monitoring Systems

Although The Trucking Alliance carriers do not all currently have the technologies installed, many features are still being tested for commercial use, while devices such as roll stability control systems have been used in the industry for years. Air disc brakes are reported as a newer technology, but since earlier versions were not as effective, they are currently undergoing development for a safer design. Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) have seen a fierce fight from truck drivers opposing the regulation. Nevertheless, the ELD mandate has given fleets until December 2017 to implement certified ELDs to record Hours of Service (HOS).

Safety as a Requirement – Not an Option

With coalitions like The Trucking Alliance leading the way, more and more freight companies will be obligated to consider what new technology could do to improve road safety for all. And even though these changes are still new and not all mandated, many large commercial fleets have already begun equipping their fleets with them in an effort to make our roads safer for everyone. Trucking accidents remain on the rise and are hoped to subside with these advancements.

The Trucking Alliance is asking affiliated carriers to support the development of Advanced Safety Technologies (ASTs) in newly purchased trucks.

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