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Is Washington State Ready for Self-Driving Trucks?

Posted by Russell West | May 30, 2024 | 0 Comments

The sense of trepidation that you feel when driving near a commercial truck on the highway is real. Trucks are huge, and their brakes are more complex than car brakes; all of this means that it takes them more time and distance to stop, and the damage caused when a truck crashes into an object is worse than if a car crashed into the same object at the same speed. Trucks only get to their destination safely if everything goes right.  How sleep-deprived is the truck driver? Is he distracted by the frustrations of the road or stress at home? Are the coffee and Red Bull just making him jittery instead of helping him concentrate? 

These worries that go through your mind as you drive near an 18-wheeler on the highway are not truck problems; they are truck driver problems. Autonomous vehicle technology companies aim to remedy this problem by deploying self-driving trucks, but the computers that convey autonomous vehicles to their destination are not infallible, either. A Spokane auto accident lawyer can help you if you have been injured in a truck accident caused by human error or a computer glitch.

Autonomous Truck Technology is Already Here

This summer, self-driving trucks will begin transporting freight on intrastate routes in Texas. The Aurora company has been test-driving its trucks on test tracks, and the results are promising. Every truck has more than 25 computers and sensors that work together to let the truck know when to accelerate, decelerate, and change lanes. The driverless trucks' sensors can sense a pedestrian-like obstacle on the track at night at a greater distance than a human driver with eyesight keen enough for a truck driving job can.

What does this mean for Spokane? The mild climate and rolling hills make Spokane an ideal environment for humans. There is a reason that Aurora chose a hot, dry, flat place like Texas to inaugurate its driverless trucks.  Spokane has too many hills and too much rain and snow for self-driving trucks in their current form to drive without assistance from human drivers. Therefore, you are unlikely to see Aurora trucks with nobody at the wheel on the roads of Washington state anytime soon.

In practice, though, autonomous vehicle technology is all around you.  Your own car probably has an automatic braking system and parking assistance technology unless you are so frugal that you have been driving the same car for more than a decade. If you get in an accident caused by a malfunction of the autonomous vehicle technology on your own vehicle or someone else's, you may be able to get compensation by filing a claim against the manufacturer of the vehicle or the defective part.

Contact West Law Office About Truck Accident Cases

A personal injury lawyer can help you if you get injured in a truck accident due to a malfunction of the truck's sensors. Contact West Law Office in Spokane, Washington, to find out more about your legal options.

About the Author

Russell West

Russell West from West Law Office, located in Spokane, Washington represents clients in areas of criminal traffic, misdemeanors, and personal injury. DUI’s, Reckless Driving, Negligent driving, Hit and Run, and Driving with Suspended license are the majority of criminal traffic violations. Drug Charges, Theft, and Domestic Violence account for most of the other criminal cases Russell handles.


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West Law Office - Russell West Attorney

Spokane Attorney Russell West practice areas include: Auto Accidents, Personal Injury, Motorcycle Accidents, Slip and Falls, DUIs, DOL Hearings, Criminal Traffic, Expungement/Vacating Records, and Insurance Bad Faith

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