Coming soon to a freeway near you? Big rigs tailgating each other at high speeds with only a few feet of separation. Thought it may seem a disconcerting sight, new technologies will make the practice of ‘platooning’ a safer experience. The same technology could help prevent trucks from rear-ending other vehicles.
Platooning refers to the practice of two big rigs traveling in a pair, using each other to improve fuel efficiency by utilizing a truck’s slipstream. Slipstreaming, or drafting, is a proven method of increasing fuel efficiency, even inspiring a test on Mythbusters, which confirmed the ‘myth’. However, some safety experts still have concerns.
The concerns do not have much to do with the platooning technology, the truck drivers, or even driverless trucks. The biggest safety concern is other drivers on the freeway. No one truly knows how drivers will react to seeing two or more trucks traveling 70 mph with only a couple of car lengths between them. Will a driver try to cut through that small space to reach an exit? Will drivers speed or slow to try and get around the convoys? How would other drivers’ behavior affect the technology? Other questions have been raised as well.
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None of these questions address the concerns of liability in the event of a crash. With the safety improvements, it would be less likely that a big rig is actually to blame in a crash, but if one does happen, who is liable for damages? The truck driver, truck company, software engineers, software company, or other entities could all have partial blame in a crash. As the future quickly approaches, the Law Offices of Scott Warmuth will be ready to represent the victims of car accidents. Call 888-517-9888 today for a free injury consultation.