At the annual meeting of the Technology & Maintenance Council in Atlanta, there was one seminar that focused on an important topic of today: truckers manipulating and disabling the safety systems on their vehicles. Truckers in Mississippi are undoubtedly familiar with these systems, which include collision mitigation systems, in-cab cameras and traffic sign recognition.
Many truckers are trying to outsmart their employers in various ways, and they are getting help from YouTube videos. They learn to do things like cutting the wires that go to a camera, disconnecting the camera or sliding a business card behind it. They have also learned to disconnect the steering-angle sensor and disable the lane departure switch by pushing the button in and sticking a piece of paper inside.
Other drivers have disabled the radar on their trucks by removing the cover and lining it with aluminum foil. They may also unplug the speakers, plugging them in again before they reach the shop. The regional director for Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, who spoke at the seminar, said that installing safety tech is insufficient.
Truck fleet owners must properly introduce the technology to truckers and explain their limitations. Driver assist systems, for example, are not meant to replace drivers. Additionally, technicians, who understand the tech better than anyone, must serve as the interface between driver and employer.
If employers do not interact in this way with truckers, they will only continue to act against technological advances. This, in turn, will do nothing to reduce the number of truck accidents that occur. Victims will have the option of filing a claim against the trucking company. In this state, victims can recover damages as long as their degree of fault is less than the other person's. Victims may want to get started by having a lawyer assess their case.