The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety just released a report, Leveraging Large Truck Technology and Engineering to Realize Safety Gains. It contained some startling statistics.

In 2015, large trucks were involved in more than 400,000 crashes, a 4% increase from 2014. Those crashes resulted in 4,000 deaths and 116,000 injuries.

While it is unlikely that there will ever be zero large truck accidents, there are things fleets can be doing to reduce the number of accidents and their severity, and to make their vehicles safer.

The AAA Foundation looked at safety and cost benefits of four advanced safety systems available for use in trucks:

  • Lane departure warning systems
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Air disc brakes
  • Video-based onboard safety monitoring systems

According to the foundation, the societal safety benefits, which include the economic value of lives saved, injuries prevented, etc., of equipping all trucks with lane departure warning and video-based onboard safety monitoring far outweigh the costs.

Here is what they found:

  • Lane departure warning systems can prevent up to 6,372 crashes, 1,342 injuries and 115 deaths each year.
  • Video-based onboard safety monitoring systems can prevent as many as 63,000 crashes, 17,733 injuries and 293 deaths each year.

The AAA Foundation found that the societal benefits of investing in both automatic braking and air disc brakes could outweigh the costs.

More specifically:

  • Automatic emergency braking can prevent up to 5,294 crashes, 2,753 injuries and 55 deaths.
  • Air disc brakes can prevent up to 2,411 crashes, 1,447 injuries and 37 deaths a year.

If you are not already investing in safety technology, these statistics should be enough evidence to get you moving in the right direction and begin spec’ing safety technologies on your new vehicle and/or retrofitting them on existing ones.

At the same it’s a good idea to reinforce safe driving practices with your drivers. Technology, combined with well-trained drivers, is the key to ensuring you keep everyone safe on the road.