The American Transportation Research Institute has an article on the six most important research topics for 2019, and one of them is has to do with the benefits of new truck safety technology. In particular, ATRI wants to revise the way it determines the technology’s return on investment. Many fleet owners in North Carolina avoid safety devices because of their steep price, and a better cost-benefit analysis may help such people warm up to them.
Truck safety devices include lane departure warning, collision avoidance systems and automatic emergency braking. While experts have shown that these devices can prevent accidents and save lives, it is another matter to determine their ROI because one must factor in exactly how many accidents were prevented: an impossible task.
Comparing the cost of a safety device with that of an average truck accident may help, though. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates the latter to be around $150,000. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology said in 2014 that one truck collision avoidance system costs between $2,500 and $4,000.
Even assuming that prices have risen since 2014, this is a bargain. Fleet owners also benefit by enhancing their company’s image as a safety-conscious one and by improving their efforts at recruitment and retention.
Fleet owners should also remember that commercial truck accidents are usually worse for the occupants of passenger vehicles than for the truckers. They may have to face a personal injury claim from the victims of such an accident. Those who intend to file a claim may wish to hire a lawyer because the trucking company will have legal representation, too. A lawyer may help build up the case with evidence brought in by third-party investigators and then negotiate for a settlement covering medical expenses and more.