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New technology could prevent truck accidents

Accidents involving semi trucks present an increased risk of serious injury or death. Nationwide, semis account for almost 7% of all accidents. The majority of accidents take place along major roads and highways, but a new device is on the market that could help increase safety along these corridors.

Several states are employing sensors embedded in the pavement to reduce the number of traffic accidents on major roads and highways and to save lives. Road-based sensors is a technology that could change motor vehicle and truck driving operations.

How sensors could prevent crashes

Leading the way in the usage around the country is a pavement sensor technology that identifies potentially unsafe truck tires. Blowout contributes to thousands of injuries and deaths each year, and data suggests that tire issues are responsible for nearly 33,000 accidents involving tractor-trailers each year.

With the new technology, sensors are embedded in the pavement. Sensors can detect problems like underinflation, mismatching tires or flat tires. Because trucks travel at such high speeds, these are dangerous situations that can turn deadly when a blowout occurs.

Enforcing safe driving

The sensor technology provides a complete footprint of each tire, and the results of the analysis allow a Department of Transportation or other regulating agency to remove the truck from the road until the driver corrects the problem. This involves either replacing or repairing all the tires in question. Federal regulations mandate inspections of commercial vehicles, but this will not always catch a tire problem. Using pavement sensors is a way to proactively address this gap.

States are continuing to experiment with this new technology and hopes are high in the transportation industry. One thorough tire inspection could save multiple lives.