Drivers are a common cause of accidents involving tractor-trailers and many other long-haul trucks navigating the nation’s highways. In some cases, they are so used to the job that they get complacent and minimize the fact that they are carrying an 80-ton load through a congested highway at high speeds. Other times, they are working extended hours against regulation and are fatigued or falling asleep at the wheel. Still other causes behind the crashes are simply due to a driver multitasking and texting or engaging in negligent or reckless behavior while driving. If you could guarantee the removal of any driver-related factor in a truck accident, would you only have left a fear of mechanical failure resulting from improper vehicle maintenance?
A company is testing that theory out in Nevada where driverless vehicles do not have as strict of regulations as California, which only allows for passenger vehicles weighing in at less than 10,00 pounds to navigate public roadways. Now the trucking company is looking for 1,000 volunteer trucks whose drivers will allow for the equipment to be installed at no cost, in order to make the self-driving kits more precise in their governance of the vehicles.
The company’s co-founder has played a role in getting Google’s fleet of self-driving passenger cars on the roadways and as the cars approach their 2-millionth mile mark, there have been very few accidents and only one that Google accepts blame for. So, while it may be decades before these commercial vehicles are deemed safe enough to freely navigate the highways among us, it is a possibility that one day they will.
Until then, if you have been injured by an 18-wheeler operated by a drunk, reckless, negligent or overly-exhausted driver, you may have recourse. A California truck accident attorney can listen to your case and determine other possible avenues to pursue additional damages as well.
Source: mysanantonio.com, “Startup wants to put self-driving big rigs on US highways,” Michael Liedtke, May 17, 2016