Tesla recently unveiled a new sports car and its first commercial semi truck. Most reports focused on the sports car because it has features that could allow it to compete with muscle cars.
The game-changing technology, however, is the semi-truck. It will have Tesla’s auto-pilot, a system that partially automates driving on the highway. This is the first real step toward automating overland trucking. The debate regarding the economic and safety issues with self-driving vehicles has raged for several years, but many observers say the vehicles would make roads safer.
Truck drivers, no matter how experienced and careful, are only human. They are subject to exhaustion, lapses in attention and other flaws. In 2015, according to a study of data provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were 3,852 fatalities from collisions involving large trucks. Some important factors leap out:
- 74 percent of those who died in those accidents were driving passenger vehicles, walking, or riding bicycles or motorcycles
- 65 percent of fatal large truck collisions happen between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
- 83 percent of crashes happened between Monday and Friday
The greatest danger for auto accidents with large trucks is during the daylight hours, on workdays. This is more troubling when you consider that these statistics are only for fatal collisions, a fraction of total accidents.
Nonfatal collisions can have repercussions far beyond damage to a car. You can be injured for extended periods of time. Your primary transportation could be damaged beyond repair. The money and time lost to collisions involving large trucks is a huge reason why there has been the push toward automating the industry.
When considering the future of transportation, safety should be the top concern. Until that time, if you’ve been in an accident that was somebody else’s fault, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney.