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What Are the Pros and Cons of Platooning Trucks?

Published on Nov 9, 2017 at 12:28 pm in Truck Accidents.

Sharing the highway with large trucks can be intimidating, especially when you’re stuck in a group of them. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released statistics involving truck accidents. In 2016, 4,317 people died in large truck accidents. 17 percent of truck drivers were killed whereas 72 percent of people in other vehicles were killed.

Have you or a loved one been injured in a truck accident in Nebraska? You can seek legal action through the law offices of Welsh & Welsh in Omaha. We believe you shouldn’t have to worry about your insurance when you’re suffering from injuries and need to focus on recovery. Our experienced lawyers can help you or your loved one get the compensation you deserve.

Truck driving is evolving to be safer and more cost-efficient. One emerging resolution is truck platooning. A group of trucks has connected vehicle technology that allows the platoon to communicate when they travel in close proximity. The trucks aren’t completely automated. While the technology controls speed, braking, but the drivers are in control of steering and they have the option to take over the gas pedal and brakes at any time.

What Are the Benefits of Using Platooning Trucks?

Platooning trucks benefit the public and the drivers.

  • Saves Fuel Money. Since the platoons ride in single file, the first truck will create a slipstream for the trucks behind it. They’ll face less resistance and use less fuel.
  • Reduced Delivery Time. Platoons are sent out at fixed times together, so delivery takes less time than trucks leaving at random intervals.
  • Less Fatigue for Drivers. While drivers still need to get proper amounts of rest and take breaks, they’ll have less of a workload that will make them less fatigued. The drivers will be more alert and will drive more safely.

What Challenges Could Platooning Trucks Create?

When new technology rises, there’s always going to be some concerns or questions about how it will work.

One main concern is how other drivers on the road will respond to truck platoons. Seeing a group of three trucks closely following each other could worry other drivers about safety and how to share the road with the platoon.

Other issues that should be addressed are:

  • How fast should platoons be allowed to drive? They might need to go at a different speed than cars around them
  • Traffic congestion and trapping cars are legitimate concerns. If platoons are kept to the right lane, it keeps the left lane open for traffic to pass by them.
  • Exit Lanes. Platoon trucks might cause congestion in these lanes because the exits weren’t designed with platoon trucks in mind.

While research will give more answers to these questions, education about how the platoons truck work could help the general public feel more comfortable about this new direction for trucks.

Do You Need a Nebraska Truck Accident Lawyer?

If you need help filing a truck accident claim, call Welsh & Welsh today at (402) 384-8160 for a free consultation. You’ll speak with an Omaha truck accident lawyer who will answer any of your questions and go over the details of your case.