Are self-driving vehicles becoming a reality in Las Vegas and across the country? According to a report from the State of Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, Las Vegas, Reno, and other cities throughout our state are at the forefront of testing new automated technology. Indeed, in conjunction with the Nevada Legislature, the Department of Motor Vehicles helped to create and enact “legislation and regulations to enable the testing and operation of autonomous vehicles in the Silver State.” While the Nevada DMV currently will accept only applications for testing (self-driving cars are not yet available to Las Vegas residents or visitors on a wide scale), the possibility of a future filled with self-driving cars does not seem too far off.
Why would we want to support self-driving cars? In short, safety experts believe they could prevent thousands of car accidents that occur each year as a result of human error. And now, according to a recent article in The Guardian, self-driving large trucks might also help to limit the number of serious and fatal truck collisions that afflict Las Vegas.
While self-driving big rigs have not yet become a highway sight in the United States, the recent article in The Guardian emphasizes that various regions of Europe have begun testing end employing these “semi-automated ‘smart’ trucks.” These vehicles, the article suggests, could result in fewer truck accidents.
And while these trucks have not yet become a common sight in Las Vegas, Nevada nonetheless remains ahead of the rest of our country when it comes to testing automated trucks. Indeed, according to a report from CNN Money, Freightliner, a manufacturer of 18-wheeler trucks, was recently “given a license to test out its autonomously driving tractor-trailer in the state of Nevada.”
According to executives at Freightliner, automated vehicles can help to reduce the number of highway crashes caused by drowsy driving. And when it comes to truckers and trucking accidents, contending with driver fatigue is a serious issue. While federal regulations require truck drivers to rest for lengthy periods of time following full-day drives on the road, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, some studies suggest that truckers often do not abide by these rest regulations. To be sure, an article in The New York Times underscored that truckers often continue to drive despite being too tired to focus their full attention on the road.
Self-driving trucks could prevent such accidents from happening, given that automated technology does not need the same rest breaks as a human driver. In addition, the report from CNN Money highlights the cost savings associated with self-driving trucks and fuel savings by driving in “platoons.”
Until self-driving trucks become commonplace on the highways around Las Vegas, it is important to consider other ways of preventing deadly truck accidents. If you or a loved one recently suffered serious or fatal injuries in a truck crash, an experienced Las Vegas truck accident attorney can help with your case. Contact the Ladah Law Firm today for more information about our services.