How can kings of the roads become safer?

The laws of physics dictate that nothing on Pennsylvania highways can cause more damage than a big rig in an accident. Safety advocates have argued long and hard for restrictions on semis — regulations vigorously opposed by the powerful trucking industry — but currently available technology might provide a solution both sides can embrace.

A Pennsylvania-based construction services company has a fleet of trucks that ranges in size from 18-wheelers down to dump trucks, box trucks, step vans, pick-ups and cars. In all, Danella Companies has nearly 200 vehicles in its fleet, according to a recent article in a trucking industry publication.

Danella reports that three months after implementation of a fleet-wide video-based safety system, it has seen significant improvement in several areas, including a 40 percent drop in speeding, a 33 percent reduction in its drivers following other vehicles at unsafe distances and a 29 percent drop in distracted driving.

The system installed in the vehicles includes video recording of both the driver and the traffic ahead of the vehicle, as well as monitoring of vehicle data. The system informs drivers when they are going too fast, following too closely, accelerating hard and so on.

According to the construction services company, the SmartDrive system has been embraced by its drivers who see it as a proactive way of improving their skills and safety.

Sounds like a step in the right direction for everyone involved: the truckers, their employers (who save on everything from litigation to fuel costs) and the public. It makes sense that trucking companies are looking for ways to reduce litigation costs because frankly, too many times innocent people have been seriously injured or killed by insufficiently trained or careless truckers.

The result for the trucking company is that accident victims find attorneys experienced in truck crash litigation and begin the process of seeking maximum compensation for damages.