There are a lot of varied reasons why truck accidents happen. Anything that can reduce the results of a big rig crash must be applauded if it really makes a difference. New technology won’t solve all problems, but it can certainly address some of them. The most recent innovation that is being trialed by a number of trucking companies is the use of cameras that are mounted on the sides of trucks to monitor what is around the back and sides of a truck at any given time. The cameras function in a similar way to the cameras that have already been installed on many new cars that allow the driver to have a better view of what is behind their vehicle when reversing.
Specifically, the cameras being trialed help truck drivers when turning, reversing and parking, maneuvers that can all lead to accidents if visibility is reduced when using conventional side mirrors. The cameras have been given the thumbs up from those truck drivers who have been involved in trials by two truck fleets, Schneider and Maverick Transportation. Drivers report that the Mirroreye technology provides a much improved performance in bad weather and at night as well as in normal daytime conditions.
Some of the problems associated with the use of ordinary truck side mirrors is that they do not provide all round views of what is around the back of the truck, making turning and reversing potentially dangerous as well as maneuvers such as passing smaller vehicles. Side mirrors are also prone to fogging in cold, damp weather and are often useless in heavy rain or snow.
Apart from MirrorEye, which is being developed by Stoneridge, other truck camera technology is being trialed by Bosch and Continental Automotive.
Safety rather than fuel saving is the main emphasis of new camera technology
It seems that when the cameras are fitted in place of conventional mirrors there may be savings in fuel consumption because the cameras are more aerodynamic. However, the main reason for the technology seems to be that it should improve safety, not fuel economy.
While Stoneridge, and other camera developers, are keen to emphasize the advantages of the technology, there remain doubts over too soon a roll-out. The main concern is what happens if one of the cameras fails when a truck is far from somewhere where the fault can be repaired. Conventional mirrors, for all their faults, rarely fail. The mirrors can shatter or the arms they hang on can break, but these things can generally easily be repaired, even if someone has to come out and fix them. It might be unreasonable for the average mechanic to know how to fix a camera if it develops a malfunction.
Developers say that one solution is to fit more than one camera on each side of the truck so that there is a built in emergency alternative should one of the cameras fail.
Reliability is going to be main aspect of the camera technology that will need to be thoroughly tested before widespread uptake by trucking fleets.
Technology won’t prevent every trucking accident
Truck accidents are mostly caused by truck driver error. The main causes of truck accidents can be summarized as:
- distracted driving;
- failure to yield the right of way;
- aggressive driving;
None of these causes of truck accidents are going to be eliminated in any way by installing cameras on the sides of trucks. They can only be addressed by truck drivers themselves driving responsibly. Mirroreye and other camera technology will certainly help responsible truck drivers avoid potential accident scenarios once teething problems have been ironed out, but their installation will not do anything to stop serious injuries and fatalities caused by driver negligence, a lack of proper maintenance or the use of defective truck parts.
Call an experienced truck accident attorney if injured in a Mississippi truck accident
If you, or a member of your family, have been injured by a truck anywhere in the state, you should make an appointment with a Jackson based ruck accident attorney to discuss the possibility of filing a personal injury claim. Call the Diaz Law Firm in Jackson MS as soon as you can at 601-607-3456.