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Safety Concerns Rising: Driverless Trucks

Posted April 25, 2024 in Uncategorized
Safety Concerns Rising: Driverless Trucks

Later this year, a U.S. based company plans to begin hauling freight in large commercial trucks on a specific route between Dallas and Houston. Hauling freight between two major cities isn’t a novel idea. What is novel about this plan is that the hauling operation will involve 20 semis that are driverless. If this initial test run goes well, the company making this effort will start pushing forward with its plans to place thousands of these vehicles on the roads within three-to-four years. 

The Looming Impact Of Driverless Trucks

Given the prevalence of self-driving technology, a trucking industry strapped for talent, and an ever-present need for innovative ways to maximize safety, efficiency, and profits, it was only a matter of time before driverless semis became a reality. At first glance, this technological advancement seems genuinely promising. So many truck crashes occur as a result of operator error that removing the operator from the equation seems like a logical choice. Yet, as any experienced Iowa trucking accident lawyer can attest, the promises of technological advancements don’t always play out as anticipated. 

What Could Go Wrong?

Think back for a moment to when self-driving software seemed to be the answer to every road-related concern from gridlock to the risk of impaired driving crashes. As the number of Tesla lawsuits stemming from crashes involving this very technology demonstrate, minimizing the role of a vehicle operator has not proven to be the panacea solution that many U.S. motorists, safety advocates, and regulators alike had been craving. 

It is not an unreasonable concern that driverless semis will ultimately suffer from many of the same issues that self-driving passenger vehicles have played out so far. And, given the size and weight of large commercial trucks, it is also not an unreasonable concern that the consequences of software glitches and other complications could result in far more devastating consequences overall. 

Technological innovation is always going to serve as a double-edged sword until all challenges related to new technology have been worked out. As a result, it is all but certain that the advent of driverless commercial trucks is going to result in great harm before this shift in freight hauling approach potentially provides the nation with a great service. 

Those with an interest in this particular advancement will want to watch both the trucking industry and federal regulators closely as technology is released and the “kinks” in that technology play out in real time. For those who are negatively affected by the operation of driverless trucks, the response to any accident scenario is going to be the same as it would be if any other catastrophic truck accident occurred: It will be time to speak with a skilled legal team about the victim’s/victims’ rights and options under the law. 

At Des Moines Injury Law, we understand that technology often plays a role in the causation of major crashes. If you are facing harm as a result of a crash that may have been impacted by a particular piece of technology, know that we can help you to pursue the maximum amount of compensation you’re owed as a result of the harm you’ve suffered.

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