Andrea Tschannerl headed out to the gym nearly every day at 4:00am. On the morning of January 6, 2017, while driving on US-1, a truck without the required retro-reflective tape and lamps, carrying an oversized load of logs, pulled in front of her and she could not see it. The load of logs crashed through Tschannerl’s windshield and sent the logs slamming into her face, her chest, and ripped off the roof of her Hyundai Elantra. Tschannerl was catastrophically injured. To make matters worse, she was cited for careless driving and the truck company’s insurance denied any responsibility for the crash.
After an investigation by attorneys at Coker Law, it was discovered that it wasn’t until after the crash that the trucking company installed retro-reflective tape and rear lamps on the trailer. Coker Law investigators also uncovered a long history of violations showing poor maintenance and upkeep of their trailers. Tschannerl’s case settled for approximately $1,000,000.00.
Coker Law trucking attorney Stefano D. Portigliatti believes a few affordable safety features would have helped make the truck’s load visible to Tschannerl. “There are products from simple reflective tape to higher tech detection systems that can truly save lives and in many cases save the trucking company money,” insists Portigliatti. “Unfortunately, because some are not required by law, the trucking companies and drivers don’t invest in them.”
Retro-Reflective Tape takes just a few minutes to apply and costs about $78.00 a roll. Retro-reflective tape reflects head lights and can help drivers see the outline of a truck and the length of a load more efficiently than regular reflective tape.
A report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), says that reflective tape can effectively reduce impacts into trailers by 29%.
The cost is approximately = $78.00
Forward Facing Collision Avoidance is a safety system designed to alert drivers of potential road hazards. The Mobileye system relies on existing technologies and pulls data from the front-facing sensors and the vehicles existing cruise control. The sensors use radar to map the physical space in front of a vehicle, alerting the driver if needed.
A study by the Insurance Institute Highway Safety found a 7% reduction in crashes for vehicles with a basic forward-collision warning system.
The cost is approximately = $742.50
AngelWings are used to block the dangerous space on the side of a truck between its front and rear wheels to prevent pedestrians, vehicles or cyclists from sliding under. AngelWings can also increase a truck’s fuel efficiency. Side guards are not required safety equipment for trucks in most of the U.S. However, the device is required in the United Kingdom and they report a 61% drop in cyclist fatalities and a 20% drop in pedestrian fatalities in side-impact collisions with trucks.
This technology is approximately = $2,495.00
This is the least expensive of the life saving devices. Lug Nut Indicators follow an arrow pattern on each wheel bolt. This is an early alert for a driver to see if their wheels are securely attached. If a bolt is loose then the sequence will shift and not display in a uniformed pattern. This can keep a tire from potentially ending up on the roadway and creating a dangerous road hazard.
This technology is approximately = $16.47 for a pack of 20
Blind Spot Detectors show when other vehicles are located on the driver side or behind a truck. A light will flash on the side mirror, alerting the driver not to merge in the lane because there is a vehicle in the blind spot.
This technology is approximately =$843.00
Portigliatti, says for less than approximately $5,000, trucks fitted with this life saving equipment can make our roads safer and provide fuel efficiency which is a positive for the companies and the environment. “It’s very disappointing to see trucking companies put in safety features after an incident,” said Portigliatti. “They risk lives by not taking these proactive simple steps.”
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, up to 63,000 truck related crashes and serious traffic accidents each year can be prevented by equipping large trucks with advanced safety technologies.
IF YOU’RE INVOLVED IN A CRASH, WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Coker Law cautions drivers to be careful and if you are injured by a negligent driver, speak with an experienced truck crash attorney. You may qualify to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to your injuries. To speak with trucking crash attorney, Stefano Portigliatti, or for more information call (904) 356-6071 or click here to schedule a free consultation.