Collision Avoidance Systems in Commercial or Owner Operator Trucks: The Pros and Cons

Collision avoidance systems have been available for a number of years as an option on new trucks. They use a radar and microprocessor that together scan the road ahead and determine whether a commercial or owner operator truck is closing in on traffic or other objects. The systems warn the truck driver with an audio (and visual) signal and will slow the truck down to match speed with the traffic ahead should the driver fail to use the brakes. They have been thoroughly tested and will completely stop a truck if need be to avoid a collision.

Rear-end collisions of semi trucks with slow-moving or stopped vehicles are among the most deadly of accidents. Collision avoidance technology reduces these accidents whether caused by driver fatigue, driver distraction, sudden traffic slowdowns, or when a truck is suddenly cut off by another vehicle. Even when these systems fail to prevent a collision, the severity is greatly reduced.

When switched off, these systems often continue to sound a warning when the truck closes in on traffic. This can potentially snap the driver out of his fatigue or distraction in time to avoid an accident. In addition to saved lives, trucking companies are spared costly lawsuit settlements, and insurance rate increases.

On the other hand, a number of truck drivers object to the near constant sounding of the alarm in heavy traffic. It produces stress, fatigue, and aggravation when heard for hours every day. The system can make driving teams less effective because the alarm noise makes it difficult for co-drivers to get any sleep.

Drivers are also concerned about getting rear ended by vehicles behind them because the systems are uncompromising about hitting the brakes to maintain safe following distances. Finally, there is the danger that some truck drivers will drive faster than they should in conditions of poor visibility because they expect the collision avoidance system will alert or stop them in time.

With time however, these problems should get ironed out. If you have questions about commercial or owner operator truck insurance in South Carolina, we are more than happy to answer them. Contact us today at J.E.B. Insurance Services, LLC.