Commercial trucks of all sizes roar along Florida highways and state routes. Semi-trucks jockey for space working to meet delivery dates and pick up the next load. We often represent clients injured in a collision with big trucks. 

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, tractor-trailer trucks are 20 to 30 times heavier than passenger vehicles. The higher ground clearance and strong underride guards are both factors that increase the likelihood of catastrophic injuries. 

Vehicle safety features 

Although cars and pickups have many built-in safety features and advanced technology to reduce crashes, big trucks typically do not. Front and side-curtain airbags are often standard equipment in passenger vehicles and newer models have crash avoidance technology offered as optional features, such as the following: 

  • Adaptive headlights 
  • Backup cameras 
  • Blindspot detection 
  • Forward-collision warnings 
  • Lane departure warnings 

Retrofitting commercial trucks 

Big rigs are expensive. As a result, a large percentage of active duty semi-trucks on the road today rolled out of the factory before many of the advanced features existed. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that retrofitting big trucks with safety systems could reduce the severity and number of crashes. 

Forward collision warning systems monitor relative distance and speed using advanced sensors. Steering wheel vibrations and audio or visual sound cues combine for driver alerts. Backup warnings and automatic braking are often components of the system, giving drivers assistance from the front and back. 

Adaptive cruise control speeds up and slows down, keeping pace with the vehicle ahead, while maintaining a distance of two to four seconds. The core system may also come with pre-crash functionality. 

Driver distractions such as navigation system checks, eating and changing music can result in a deadly crash. Safety systems can help reduce the potential for devastating injuries.