New Technology for Semis Could Save Lives

Updated: 02/01/2013 10:33 PM KSTP.com By: Scott Theisen

This is the time of year when we see more massive pileups like the one near Detroit Thursday that left 3 people dead.

But there's new technology for big rigs that could save lives on the road.

According to the latest government report, while motor vehicle deaths are going down, fatalities involving drivers of big rigs have gone up 20 percent.

New technology developed by Volvo allows a truck to begin breaking on its own when it senses a vehicle ahead.

A collision warning system activates when the truck is 1.5 seconds from rear-ending another vehicle.

Since trucking isn't regulated, it's up to most trucking operators to install such advanced technology their trucks


The collision warning technology costs about $4,000. It's estimated that only 10 percent of semis have it. Right now, it's not required.

Staying Safe Around Semis

Stay at least 10 car lengths ahead of a large truck before you change into the lane in front of it. Remember it takes the length of a football field for a truck to stop.

If possible, only pass a truck on the left because the truck's blind-spot on the right runs the length of its trailer and extends out 3 lanes

Finally, check the truck's mirrors. If you can't see the driver's face, the driver cannot see you.