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Commercial truck insurers slow to embrace new safety features

People who shop for a new car at a Raleigh dealership are often surprised to find so many vehicles outfitted with technologies that can help drivers stay safe. New vehicles can warn drivers that they are drifting in their lanes, following another vehicle too closely, and that another vehicle is in their blind spot. Some new vehicles can park themselves in tight spots, help drivers back up safely and slam on the brakes in an emergency, among other safety features. A new-car buyer can also find that their insurer will reward them with lower rates for having the advanced technologies on-board.

New 18-wheelers offer some of the very same safety features, but commercial insurers are apparently slower to embrace emerging safety technology and offer lower rates to fleet owners. According to a recent news report, not all commercial insurers are convinced that the tech reduces the risk of tractor-trailer crashes and personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits.

According to trucking industry publication CCJ (Commercial Carrier Journal), commercial insurers “generally are not willing to give discounts on policies even if fleets use technology that potentially could reduce accidents.”

The publication says insurers have paid out 12 percent more in commercial truck crash claims over the past four years than received from policy premiums. CCJ reports that a trucking insurance think tank says truck crash rates are increasing and that insurers “are struggling to reach quick settlements on claims.”

While truck fleet owners and insurers might see these developments as harmful to their bottom lines, it is clear that truck accident injury victims and the families of those killed in 18-wheeler crashes have learned that it is in their best interests to talk to a qualified personal injury attorney rather than quickly agreeing to a settlement.

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