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Would Transparent Semis Increase Road Safety?

Oct 9, 2015 - Car Accidents, Tuscaloosa by

It seems as if new safety technologies appear on motor vehicles almost every year. Considering the devastation that our clients experience on the roads on a regular basis, our Tuscaloosa car accident attorneys applaud these developments — especially when they allow small cars to share the roads with big trucks more safely. It may be early in the game, but it is not too early to start thinking about one of the latest developments: the transparent truck.

A New Invention That Addresses Visibility Issues for Small Vehicles

Anyone who is forced to drive behind a huge semi knows that it is like driving behind a solid wall. Without the ability to catch a glimpse of traffic in front of the truck, it is virtually impossible to safely pass these slow-moving vehicles, much less remain aware of potential hazards on the road ahead. In June 2015, Samsung announced the development of its Safety Truck, which could vastly reduce these visibility issues.

The concept behind the Safety Truck is simple: Put wireless cameras on the front of trucks and transmit the images to screens on the back, allowing motorists to see the road almost as if the truck was not in front of them. Early prototype tests in Argentina (which has some of the most dangerous roads in the world) showed positive results. The screen images made passing safer on two-lane roads, while also reducing accidents caused by sudden braking or animals on the road.

Samsung is now working with the U.S. government to obtain permission to test the vehicle here.

The Safety Car Will Not Provide an Instant Fix

The process of approving a prototype for testing is a lengthy one. Even after approval, there is no way to predict how long testing will take before any automotive safety device makes it to commercial development. Since the technology behind the Safety Truck is largely external to a vehicle, however, it should be a relatively simple matter to add it to existing semis.

Still, the camera-screen combination is expensive. It will add significant extra costs to the purchase of new Safety Trucks and existing truck owners may choose to avoid the extra expense of installing it. Rather than wait for features that do not yet exist, motorists behind the wheels of any sized vehicle should consider looking into time-tested safety features such as the following, which are available today:

  • Rearview cameras
  • Crash avoidance systems
  • Bluetooth and other features for hands-free device operation
  • Side view sensor systems

These devices, along with good defensive-driving techniques can make every trip safer.

Additional Resources:

Crash Avoidance Features by Make and Model, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Other Blog topics

Tuscaloosa Car Accident Attorneys Say Auto Safety Features May Increase Accident Risks For Alabama Drivers, Tuscaloosa auto accident blog

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