When most people think of large commercial trucks, they think of vehicles that have actual drivers. However, self-driving trucks are becoming more and more common and may soon be a regular reality in and around the roadways of Philadelphia. At the Dan Doyle Law Group, we want to discuss these vehicles and what we know about their safety. Our Philadelphia truck accident lawyers are ready to help anybody involved in an accident with a self-driving truck.
Self-driving trucks are the wave of the future in this country. In late 2019, Silicon Valley startup company completed what is known to be the first commercial freight cross-country trip. This was a 2,800-mile journey from Tulare, California to Quakertown, Pennsylvania.
The trip happened over a three-day period and resulted in no accidents. A safety driver was on board the vehicle and ready to take the wheel if there were any issues along the way. According to the company behind the trip, Plus.ai, there were zero “disengagements,” or times when the self-driving system had to be stopped because of a problem.
Even though self-driving trucks are not yet in widespread use (they are being used for shorter trips with regularity), they could be very soon. Arguments have been made these vehicles could make the roadways safer. Trucking companies have said these vehicles will likely have varying levels of autonomy. In many cases, there will be a driver on board, and the truck will operate autonomously only on simple highway stretches. Regardless of how these trucks are put into use, there will inevitably be accidents involving a self-driving truck.
There is no way to predict how often these incidents will occur and whether a self-driving truck will indeed be safer than a human-driven truck. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states that there were 4,761 fatalities and more than 148,000 injuries caused by large truck crashes during the latest reporting year. In Pennsylvania, the DOT says that there were 7,336 large truck crashes during the latest year of data available.
As self-driving trucks become more prevalent on the roadways, we will have more data to thoroughly understand how they impact roadway safety.
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in an accident with a self-driving truck in or around Philadelphia, seek legal assistance today. At the Dan Doyle Law Group, we are ready to get to work investigating every aspect of this case in order to secure the compensation you are entitled to. This could include: