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Self-driving semis may help prevent trucking accident

The trucking industry has helped ensure that goods are always available for consumers regardless of their location in the country. However, along with the increased presence of these large commercial vehicles, there is also the ever-present risk of a serious trucking accident costing more lives. There have been countless Ohio families whose lives have been forever altered due to one of these tragic collisions.

There are signs that the trucking industry is starting to focus on developing a safer version of these large vehicles on the nation's highways. Recently, Daimler introduced its first model of a self-driving tractor-trailer. This rig will still require a human driver to be present, but it is designed and programmed to handle normal road and traffic conditions with minimal human input. Some of the programs that Mercedes-Benz has incorporated in its passenger models have been incorporated into the computers installed in these semi engines.

Some of those safety features include the ability of the vehicle's sensors to determine a safe following distance and maintain lane position. The truck will not be enabled to pass slower vehicles, and if it senses unsafe road conditions, warning lights and tones will alert the human driver to assume control of the vehicle. In the event the driver does not respond, then the computer is programmed to gradually bring the truck to a stop.

While the use of these self-driving tractor-trailers may indeed increase the safety for all travelers, the reality is that there will likely continue to be the risk of a serious trucking accident. Even with sophisticated computer programs, there remains the possibility of a mechanical or computer malfunction that can result in a wreck. As many Ohio families have had the misfortune to discover, any accident between these trucks and a smaller vehicle often ends in tragedy. Families who have suffered physically and financially from these horrifying wrecks may pursue recompense from the parties responsible for their injuries and financial damages.

Source: wired.com, "World's first self-driving semi truck hits the road", Alex Davies, Accessed on Sept. 14, 2017

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