Will platoon technology really lower truck accidents?

Will platoon technology really lower truck accidents?

The recent death of a Nevada Department of Transportation employee at the hands of a commercial truck driver is raising resident concerns about safe driving practices among tractor-trailer trucks. The Reno-Gazette Journal reports that the driver of the truck now faces involuntary manslaughter charges for the death of the NDOT employee, and was believed to be driving without exercising due care.

According to ABC News, one Silicon Valley tech giant has enacted new “platooning” technologies intended to minimize truck accidents and make commercial truck driving safer. The concept involves two trucks traveling at the same speed while taking care to keep a designated amount of space between them. The idea is that doing so allows them to better synchronize braking and acceleration, enhancing overall safety. A personal injury attorney in Reno, NV knows that more must be done in order to determine whether platooning technology will make state roadways safer.

Benefits of truck platooning

Peleton Technologies, the company behind the new platooning technology, asserts that the proximity between the two trucks reduces wind resistance while enhancing safety and fuel economy. The company’s headquarters houses a central operations center that reads data from the platooned trucks. The operations center then assesses factors like highway conditions and weather to determine whether trucks should platoon, and if so, at what speed and with how much space between them. To date, tested distances range between 20 and 75 feet.

Peleton further asserts that platooning enhances safety because truck drivers remain in control of their vehicles at all times and are able to terminate the relationship with the other truck at any time.


While the company responsible for the technology sings its praises, others remain somewhat skeptical. A personal injury attorney in Reno NV knows that this technology fails to take into account many other common causes of trucking accidents, like impaired driving or inadequate sleep. Furthermore, until additional tests are conducted, there is still much to learn about the effectiveness of platooning in minimizing accidents.

Further tests to be performed

According to the Journal of Commerce, the effectiveness of truck platooning will soon be assessed by the American Transportation Research Institute and two different Department of Transportation research teams. A primary focus of the study will include the costs associated with the practice in relation to the benefits of truck-platooning technology. Many commercial truck drivers are under increased pressure to be productive on the roadway. A personal injury attorney in Reno, NV knows that truck platooning is one of several ideas (another is driverless trucks) intended to enhance safety in an industry where every mile counts.

While it will take some time before the results of the study are released, those who have been injured in a commercial-truck related accident are encouraged to consult with an attorney.