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Self-Driving 18-Wheelers: How They Could Save Lives in Texas

18wheelerSelf-driving trucks have long been the stuff of science fiction. New vehicles now hitting the roads in Nevada, however, are bringing that vision to life in a limited way. The new Freightliner Inspiration tractor-trailer truck by Daimler is designed specifically to limit the need for a human driver in highway driving conditions. This can reduce driver fatigue and eliminate some of the errors that can lead to accidents. Since the consequences of semi-trailer truck collisions can be devastating for other vehicles on the road, this technology could potentially save lives when it is approved for use on Texas streets and highways. For those who have been impacted by an accident involving a tractor-trailer or large commercial truck, consulting with qualified Houston vehicle accident lawyers can provide added support in achieving fair compensation for the medical bills and losses sustained in these life-changing events.

How Self-Driving Semi-Trucks Work

The Daimler Freightliner Inspiration employs a battery of cameras and sensors on the front and sides of the vehicle to determine the proximity of other vehicles, the location of lane lines and the existence of any other obstacles in the truck’s path. Long and short-range radar equipment allows these self-driving vehicles to detect upcoming traffic or road blockages well in advance. Automatic acceleration and braking ensure safe distances are maintained on the roadways. These self-driving 18 wheel vehicles are not yet ready to take on city streets or special challenges, however. Drivers must take over for the automated system when narrow streets, unusual traffic or general road conditions require a more subtle approach.

Advantages of Self-Driving Vehicles

Daimler is the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, which is also developing autonomous passenger cars for consumer use. These vehicles offer a number of key benefits for owners and other drivers on the road, including the following:

  • Automated braking and accelerating functions provide faster response times to reduce the risk of collisions.
  • Accidents attributable to human error could be significantly reduced or eliminated altogether. This could save lives in Texas and across the U.S.
  • Drivers could enjoy added free time to relax or work in route to and from their physical workplaces.
  • With wide adoption, the number of car accidents could decline sharply, resulting in fewer deaths and injuries and relieving some of the burden on America’s medical infrastructure.
  • Increased ability to track mileage and to set speed limits for large trucks can provide added fuel efficiency and improved management tools for the transportation industry.

These advantages are especially important for 18-wheeler trucks in Texas. The weight, size and forward momentum of these commercial vehicles can result in catastrophic injuries for smaller cars and trucks on the road in the event of a collision. By eliminating human error as a factor, the number of accidents involving these large trucks can be reduced to a significant degree.

When Accidents Occur

For those who have already been injured or have sustained losses in a catastrophic 18-wheeler collision, working with an experienced Houston traffic accident lawyer can ensure that drivers and transportation companies are held responsible for the personal negligence and corporate policies that may have contributed to these serious wrecks. The right legal representation can have a major impact on the settlement amount offered by insurance adjusters and on the overall compensation received by victims of these accidents.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Houston auto accident, obtaining legal counsel immediately can help you to protect important legal rights and to negotiate for the fairest settlement possible. Personal injury attorneys have the experience and in-depth knowledge necessary to ensure the most positive outcomes and the highest compensation possible for your case. This can provide you with added resources to manage the aftermath of 18-wheeler collisions and other accidents on Houston streets and highways.

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