Category: Personal Injury Posted on May 31, 2017

Despite Automated Trucks Looming on the Horizon, People are Still in Control

If you have ever driven on one of the Nation’s highways, you probably know the feeling of an 18 wheeler screaming past you at a high rate of speed. Most often, the truck passes you without incident, except for a momentary feeling on fear or insecurity. However, there are the unfortunate few that are involved in serious accidents involving 18 wheelers, causing serious injury, and sometimes death.

Like all big business, the trucking industry is has one simple motive; Maximize profits by keeping costs low. With that goal in mind, the trucking industry has begun looking into automating many of the aspects of driving currently handled by human drivers. A recent article in the Hartford Courant shed some light on this new technology, and current drivers’ feelings on it.

Semi Truck Accidents Caused by Self-Driving Trucks

As noted in the article, truck drivers often feel the pressure of running on a tight schedule, fighting off tired eyes, using stimulants to keep them awake, all in an effort to maximize profit for the company. However, this new automation may result in drivers serving more like airline pilots on the road. Truck drivers would be responsible for maneuvering the vehicle onto the highway, turning the automation on, and then taking over when the truck gets off the main route. Despite this automation, drivers will still be hands-on in the operation of the vehicle. There will still be local roads to navigate, deadlines to meet, and profits to make.

More importantly, no matter how good the automation program, there is still the potential for accidents causing devastating damages. Even truck drivers recognize that no computer program is fool proof. Despite using this new technology as an effort to make the roads a safer place, trucking companies will still be responsible when the automated vehicles are involved in an accident. Therefore, it is critical to know what to do if you are involved in an accident with a large truck.

What to do if You Are Involved in a Trucking Accident

Unfortunately, many accidents involving large trucks result in significant injuries to those involved. Therefore, it is crucial that you seek immediate medical attention for your injuries, even in cases where you do not feel any apparent injury.

Do not speak to anyone other than the police or medical providers giving you care following the accident. In most cases, trucking companies send investigators and attorneys to the scene of an accident to begin its investigation. While you are seeking medical attention, the truck companies are already preparing for a potential lawsuit. Truck companies will want to get a statement from you, and begin crafting their case to limit their potential liability. If possible, have someone get pictures of the scene and vehicles involved, obtain witness information and information from the truck driver or truck company representative.

Finally, contact an experienced trucking attorney as soon as possible. An experienced trucking attorney knows the rules and regulations governing the trucking industry. Additionally, they know how truck companies handle accidents investigation and know what evidence to obtain from the company and driver. Most importantly, experienced trucking attorneys know how to properly value your case. All too often, an injured person hires an inexperienced attorney who treats trucking accidents like a regular car accident. Make no mistake, trucking accidents are not simple car accidents. Failing to hire an experienced trucking attorney may cost you significant money when your case is ultimately resolved.

Bruce Stanger

My litigation experience includes family law, divorce, product liability, construction law, professional negligence, shareholder disputes, legal malpractice, and general commercial litigation.