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Latest Trends in 18-Wheeler Safety Technology: Advancements for Preventing Accidents in Houston

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In the heart of Houston, where truck transportation plays an important role in the city’s economy, there’s a rising demand for 18-wheeler safety technology. As our city witnesses an increase in vehicle traffic, the safety precautions of 18-wheelers become crucial. What’s more, technological advancements in driverless vehicles have created some new and interesting safety and liability concerns. Our reliance on technology allows for incredible vehicle safety measures, but it can also make the personal injury claims process more complicated. Recognizing this, DeHoyos Accident Attorneys, PLLC, fights for the rights of those affected by truck-related incidents and emphasizes the importance of these groundbreaking safety advancements.

Collision Avoidance Systems

Among the primary advancements in 18-wheeler safety technology is collision avoidance systems. These systems are designed to prevent accidents by providing drivers with real-time insights about their surroundings. Sensors, cameras, and radar technology combine to detect possible hazards and alert drivers of their presence. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has indicated that these systems can prevent up to 40% of rear-end collisions.

Lane Departure Warnings

Another advancement in Houston truck safety advancements is the lane departure warning, a feature of the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). This system helps drivers stay in their lane, which reduces unintended consequences. Alongside other features like adaptive cruise control and blind-spot detection, ADAS enhances road safety by ensuring safe distances are maintained.

Tracking Driver Fatigue

Fatigue is a significant cause of truck accidents in Houston. While federal regulations only allow truckers to drive for 11 hours at a time, many have been known to violate this rule. This has led to a call for more serious measures to combat driver fatigue. 

In response, the FMCSA implemented Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) in 2017. These devices automatically record a driver’s hours of service, ensuring that drivers adhere to federal regulations concerning rest breaks. The result has led to a notable reduction in fatigue-related incidents.

However, ELDs are just part of the equation. Driver alert systems are an innovative technology that detects driver drowsiness and signals them to rest. With advancements in biotechnology, these systems can now more accurately gauge a driver’s fatigue levels based on various metrics. 

A standout in this field is the driver drowsiness detection device. This system evaluates a driver’s drowsiness by observing factors like the time of day, frequency of turn signal use, trip duration, and steering behavior over time. For instance, extended periods without steering activity, followed by a sudden turn, might suggest the driver momentarily dozed off.

Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) Communication

Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) is a groundbreaking development in road safety. It can fundamentally transform the way vehicles interact with the world around them. At its core, V2X facilitates communication between a vehicle and any person or object that may influence or be influenced by the vehicle’s actions.

Understanding the V2X:

  • Vehicle-to-Network (V2N) uses cellular data for communication. Within this, there’s also: 
  • Vehicle-to-Cloud (V2C) which is concerned with over-the-air updates and remote vehicle diagnostics.
  • Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) then facilitates interaction with traffic control devices like traffic lights, lane markers, and parking meters.
  • Vehicle-to-Pedestrian (V2P) enhances safety for non-motorized road users, such as those in wheelchairs or on bicycles.
  • Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) facilitates real-time data exchange with participating vehicles to avert collisions and streamline traffic flow.

This advanced system promises remarkable benefits for the safety of Houston roads. The NHTSA has estimated that if V2V communication alone were to be universally adopted, it could lead to a 13% reduction in traffic accidents. This translates to 439,000 fewer crashes each year. 

Furthermore, V2X isn’t just about safety; it also promises enhanced traffic efficiency, significant energy savings, and broader surveillance capabilities. With technologies like V2X becoming more prevalent, roads of the future are not only safer but also smarter and more interconnected.

Houston’s Autonomous Trucking

Houston residents can anticipate a portion of their deliveries to be transported via autonomous trucks, underscoring the city’s commitment to modern road safety. Here’s a quick overview:

  1. Aurora’s Commitment to Safety: Aurora Innovation, in collaboration with FedEx and PACCAR, operates autonomous trucks on Interstate 45. Beyond tech, their focus is safer transportation. A safety driver is always present for human oversight.
  2. Texas Welcomes Tech: Texas isn’t merely leading in trucking; it actively adopts and supports advanced safety tech for trucks. This commitment showcases Texas’s drive to combine innovation with road safety.
  3. Major Collaborations: Waymo and UPS have teamed up on the I-45 project, using autonomous technology to enhance safety on the roads.
  4. Growth in Safety Tech: As of 2022, AV companies such as Nuro and Embark Trucks have expanded their operations in Houston.

Liability Concerns with Autonomous Trucks

The increasing presence of driverless trucks on Houston’s roadways raises an inevitable question: Who is held accountable when an autonomous truck is involved in an accident?

Historically, when accidents were caused by human error, victims could pursue claims based on the driver’s negligence. Most auto accident claims in Texas have been filed under this premise. However, with the advent of autonomous technology, the laws about liability are transforming. In situations involving self-driving trucks, the liability could shift towards the vehicle’s manufacturer or the software developer. This represents a significant departure from traditional accident claims, where the fault usually falls on the human driver.

Consequently, this could lead to a reversal in the burden of proof. Instead of the driver of a traditional vehicle having to prove the autonomous vehicle was at fault, the manufacturer of the self-driving truck might have to demonstrate that the vehicle wasn’t the cause of the accident!

Given these complexities, having a knowledgeable attorney familiar with driverless vehicle laws is crucial for those involved in such accidents.

Need Legal Help? Choose DeHoyos Accident Attorneys, PLLC

As Houston embraces the latest in 18-wheeler safety technology, it’s essential to understand its implications for road safety. Should you or a loved one face the unfortunate circumstance of an accident, know that the DeHoyos Accident Attorneys, PLLC, is here to uphold your rights. Reach out at (832) 745-4878 for a complimentary consultation and experience the difference of working with Houston’s pr

driver’s or trucking company’s responsibility and maximize your compensation. At DeHoyos Accident Attorneys, we’re dedicated to ensuring you’re armed with the best defense against any claims of negligence. Call us today at (832) 745-4878 for tailored legal advice about your personal injury claim. Houston strives for safer trucking practices, and those who fail to consider your safety must be held accountable. 



















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