OnSide technology improves safety for large commercial trucks by alerting truck drivers to other motorists riding in the truck’s blind spot. Passenger cars and motorcycles riding in these blind-spot areas are at significant risk of injury and death in an accident. The technology reduces the potential risks of serious or fatal side collisions often seen by a truck accident lawyer.
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In October 2017, Wabco launched OnSide at the American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, Florida. OnSide is a radar-based detection system for commercial trucks and trailers that alerts truck drivers to moving vehicles in the truck’s blind spot. Radar sensors can cover up to 65 percent of a standard 53-foot trailer and give truck drivers a 160-degree field of view. The system easily distinguishes moving vehicles from stationary objects, even in low visibility conditions including darkness, heavy rain, dense fog, and snow.
OnSide technology can be used in conjunction with Wabco’s OnLane Assist technology for even greater safety and accident protection. When combined, more assertive warnings are sent to the truck driver through audible or visual signals, as well as seat vibrations. When the turn signal is engaged and OnSide detects a vehicle in the adjacent lane, OnLane Assist automatically corrects the steering wheel to return the truck to its original lane.
Due to the length of large commercial trucks and semi-trailers, there are multiple blind spots that pose accident risks. The most dangerous blind spots include:
- In front of the truck – The driver’s cabin in large trucks and semi-trailers sits very high off the ground. The view of smaller vehicles is often blocked by the engine compartment.
- The sides of the truck – The right-side blind spot is particularly dangerous because it runs the full length of the truck and cab and extends outward as far as three lanes. Passing on the right is a particularly dangerous move.
- Behind the trailer – Semi-trucks don’t have rear-view mirrors, so a truck driver’s view may be blocked as far back as 200 feet or more.
A truck that is fully-loaded can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. That’s 20 to 30 times the size of an average-size passenger vehicle. Accidents involving large trucks and semi-trailers can quickly turn fatal for nearby drivers. In 2015, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported 83,000 serious trucking accidents and injuries and 3,600 fatalities involving large trucks and passenger vehicles.