Accidents Involving Big Rigs on the Rise

Learn ways to keep you and your family safe when sharing the road with big trucks.
2:22 | 02/01/13

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Transcript for Accidents Involving Big Rigs on the Rise
This week we've been showing you some terrible crashes, pileups on the highways. As abc ap bob woodruff reports, it turns out accidents invoflting big trucks are on the upswing but there are ways to keep you and your family safe. Reporter: They are arresting images from a week of bad weather. Accidents involving semi-trucks that weigh up to 80,000 pounds. On youtube, videos of drivers desperately trying to swerve and avoid hitting them. Scenes that track with a recent government study from 2010-2011 that found while motor vehicle fatalities have gone down, fatalities involving the drivers of large trucks rose last year -- up 20%. A lot of it has to do with the congestion we're experiencing on the nation's highways and the rebound of america's economy. Reporter: Increased speed limits in some states are also a factor. More are still being investigated. That's why the race is on for safeguards like this. You're looking at technology developed by volvo that allows a truck to begin braking on its own when it senses a vehicle ahead. A collision warning system is set off when the truck is 1.5 seconds from rear-ending another vehicle. This is relatively new to our industry. It's not like passenger vehicles where lots of airbags and the kinds of things we've come to expect in safety options is available. Reporter: Until then, there are some ways to protect yourself when driving alongside these trucks. Stay at least 10 car lengths ahead of a large truck before you change into the lane in front of it. Remember, it takes the length of a football field for a truck to stop. If possible, only pass a truck on the left because the truck's blind spot on the right runs the length of its trailer and extends out three lanes. And finally, check the truck's mirrors. If you can't see the driver's face, the driver cannot see you. Safety on the roads we all share. The industry believes only about 10% of all registered trucks have installed the new kind of technology. It is not required. There is no regulations. It would cost roughly $4,000 per truck. But despite the price industry insiders think this is a great idea, starting to really save some lives. Great report. Thank you, bob road ruff, good

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