The general shortage of truck drivers, which is usually highlighted in times of global pandemics such as Covid-19, has always been a big problem in the freight industry.
It seems that automated trucks are the future, and it is only a matter of time before we see many of these vehicles on the highway.
This has resulted in many people asking questions about how self-driving trucks will affect road safety and the availability of employment opportunities for existing human drivers.
A quick look at the records of accidents in the trucking industry will show trucks have always posed one of the greatest dangers on the road. Whether the introduction of automated vehicles will make the roads safer is one of the questions road accident lawyers, such as Michael P. Ehline, is ready to answer.
The vast experience in road accident cases, of which truck accidents are a significant part, means that Michael Ehline and his team of experts are in the best position to assist you.
We can swiftly answer any questions you might have regarding self-driving vehicles. Whether you are an accident victim or a human driver wanting to know what the automated driving system means for your career and rights as a truck driver, Ehline Law Firm can help provide the answers you need. Come to any one of our offices across the country for a free consultation.
We can assist truck drivers and accident victims with the following:
Sometimes referred to as automated trucks, self-driving trucks are vehicles that do not require human drivers but rather use sophisticated artificial intelligence software and high-resolution sensors to navigate highway driving in the transportation of goods from one point to another.
The pursuit of efficiency and a reduction in truck accidents has pushed trucking companies to invest in research on automated driving systems. The following are some of the common justifications put forward by advocates of self-driving trucks:
Current levels of competition in the transportation industry mean that for trucking companies, every minute counts. This pursuit of quicker turnaround times between deliveries is one of the significant causes of truck accidents.
Using a self-driving truck, delivery can be made in the shortest time possible by removing the need for rest stops along the way, which is something that is not possible with a human driver. An automated vehicle is also more reliable when it comes to being sidetracked the way truck drivers who have been on the job for a while tend to be.
Driver fatigue and human error, two significant causes of truck accidents, will become a thing of the past with the introduction of driverless vehicles. Once properly programmed, self-driving systems will choose the safest way to complete the driving task.
The issues surrounding the effect on accidents caused by automated vehicles are still highly debatable, with many sectors of the trucking industry claiming that technology companies have not yet reached the required level of artificial intelligence to make such claims.
In theory, the benefits of machine learning can be applied to great use in the vast majority of truck driving tasks. However, it is probably too early to give self-driving trucks unlimited access to public roads, with most data currently being obtained in safe testing facilities.
The job market, especially in developed countries, has witnessed a considerable shift away from labor-intensive forms of employment, such as truck driving, as people opt for more sedentary lifestyles. The result of this changing labor environment is that even though human capital is available, there is little interest in taking up such jobs.
One possible solution to this problem is the introduction of automated motor vehicles within the trucking industry. With a reduced reliance on human intervention to complete a driving task, self-driving vehicles will allow a gradual redistribution of skills and labor that will hopefully bring balance to the labor market.
How often have you been stuck in traffic congestion caused by a human driver failing to properly negotiate an intersection or taking a shortcut through prohibited roads? A self-driving truck will reduce such incidents by sticking to the right roads and using advanced GPS technology to take corners properly.
While self-driving trucks will probably mean an increase in the number of trucks themselves on our highways in the coming years, improved driving skills and strict adherence to road safety will probably help traffic move more smoothly for all road users.
The question on everyone’s minds is, “Will self-driving trucks replace human drivers?” There are arguments in favor of both sides, and until self-driving cars and trucks are a regular occurrence on our highways, it will be difficult to know for sure.
A panel of experienced attorneys at Ehline Law Firm will be able to give you better insight into the virtues of each of these two options. In the meantime, the limited data from technology companies and the publicly available road accident statistics suggest the following to be true:
Over the past few years, since the introduction of automated vehicles onto our roads, there have been reports of accidents involving these self-driving vehicles.
Although the data is still limited, the following stats are worth noting:
Many surveys have been conducted over the years to gauge the public perception regarding the safety of automated vehicles on our roads.
The following results have pointed towards a generally varied opinion, with the most remarkable differences in opinion being between business owners and the rest of the general population:
As of March 2022, the United States has taken an enormous leap toward fully legalizing automated vehicles. On the 5th of March, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated that there is no need for motorized vehicles to have unique controls. However, these vehicles are still expected to continue providing the same levels of passenger safety as regular vehicles.
The Federal Autonomous Vehicle Policy also states that there are no new rules or regulations for states regarding vehicle automation. What they offer are simply guidelines meant to maintain general road safety requirements.
What this means is that there is a general move toward the full acceptance of automated vehicles. However, seeking legal advice before using automated trucks on public highways is wise. You can reach Michael Ehline by dialing (833) LETS-SUE and schedule a free consultation.
At the moment, no fully automated vehicles are allowed on U.S. highways. The law states that at least one person has to be inside the vehicle in case of emergency, so it looks like we have to wait a bit longer before self-driving trucks are a common sight on the road.
However, with the automated vehicle industry growing at a rate of 16% per year, it is safe to assume the wait will only be a few more years. In the United States, for example, 41 states have moved to legalize self-driving trucks in anticipation of significant progress in this industry soon.
Quite a bit of a grey area still exists regarding self-driving trucks’ safety and legality. As with all similar situations, the best thing to do is get the correct legal advice before putting yourself at risk. Michael Ehline and his great team of lawyers are here to help with any questions regarding automated truck safety. Contact us today at (833) LETS- SUE and book an appointment.
Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of the largest motorcycle accident settlements in U.S. History. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients. We pride ourselves in being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride, and a a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.
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633 West 5th Street #2890
Los Angeles, CA 90071
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