The number of fatal crashes involving semi trucks has decreased significantly in recent years, and safety officials are crediting sensors for the improvements, according to the Seattle Times.
There were 32 fatal crashes involving commercial vehicles in 2009, a decrease of about 50 percent from 2008. There were 26 in 2010 and 37 in 2011.
More than 65,000 tracks, or approximately 39 percent of commercial trucks on Washington roadways, have a transponder attached to the windshield. The transponder communicates with sensors that are located over the highway at weigh stations. The sensor immediately pulls up information about the truck’s safety record, overall weight and weight over each axle.
The Washington State Patrol says the time saved allows them to focus on trucks that are at risk because the company has a record of violations, such as speeding or not allowing drivers enough time to rest.
This means that not every truck has to stop at each weigh station. The other benefit is that can save time and money for companies, so many of the big driving companies have switched to the new technology.
I applaud the trucking industry and law enforcement for finding ways to ensure that trucks on the highway are safe. Crashes involving large trucks never end well, so it is important that we eliminate as many of these type of accidents as possible.