Driverless Truck to Protect Roadside Construction Workers
Roadside construction accidents have been increasing throughout Ohio, killing several workers. However, new technology could potentially save lives. Many of us have driven past roadside construction zones and seen the specialized trucks outfitted with crash barriers. These vehicles are often referred to as “crash trucks”, and they are outfitted with devices called truck-mounted attenuators, or “crash cushions”.
Crash trucks are responsible for shielding roadside workers from collisions with other vehicles, but the drivers inside are placed at enormous risk. The vehicles serve as effective shields for workers, and a study published in the Journal of the Transportation Research Board suggests crash trucks are responsible for cutting fatal and non-fatal work zone injuries in half.
However, Royal Truck & Equipment Inc. has demonstrated a driverless crash truck, which could improve the safety of roadside construction crews and remove the need for crash truck drivers. The truck is reportedly ready for use in Florida by the end of 2015.
In an amusing demonstration, one of Royal’s autonomous crash trucks followed another vehicle around a parking lot, easily keeping up with speed and braking.
Can the Ohio Department of Transportation Prevent Future Work Zone Accidents?
If similar technology could be used in Ohio, it might become an effective method for preventing certain types of fatal work zone accidents. According to the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), 5,100 work zone crashes injured 1,000 people and killed 17 in 2014.
ODOT has pledged a work zone safety campaign to prevent further accidents. The campaign will use photos, videos and other media to promote safety and raise awareness about work zone accidents.
Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC – Columbus Workers’ Comp Attorneys