New highway regulations in Texas have fleet managers looking for ways to equip specific heavy haul trucks with roll-stability systems and blind spot protection. The new regulations, as laid out in Texas Senate Bill 1524, address heavier oversize and overweight intermodal vehicles that carry oceangoing or international trade containers within 30 miles of a port of entry or international bridge. SB 1524 mandates that roll-stability systems and blind spot protection be installed on these vehicles as a precondition of receiving an operating permit from the Texas Department of Transportation.
A stronger economy, lower unemployment rates, and better gas prices have put more people on U.S. roadways, causing motor vehicle fatalities to rise by 9% in the first half of 2016. The National Safety Council estimates that 19,100 people have been killed over the road since January, and 2.2 million were seriously injured. What’s more, this Labor Day was predicted to be the deadliest holiday period since 2008, according to the NSC.
Other factors, including distracted driving, have contributed to the rise in over the road accidents. Side collisions with trucks from lane changes have increased on busier highways. Congested urban areas are seeing a rise in struck-by side collisions from turns and lane changes, especially with pedestrians and cyclists. The economy might look rosier, but the roadways do not, especially for the most vulnerable road users—those on foot and bikes.
Since mining companies gain efficiency by moving more tonnage with fewer but larger vehicles, the trend leads toward ever-larger dozers, trucks, draglines and shovels. But the larger the vehicle, the larger the blind zones around them; and these blind zones can lead to potentially catastrophic accidents.
Larger Vehicles Can Mean More Danger
The blind zones around mining equipment can be huge: Sean Martell, Preco’s mining and construction sales manager, says that when operating large haul trucks, drivers can lose visibility to a hazard when the person or object is as far away as 150 feet from the rear of these massive machines. That’s half a football field.
Being in and around moving vehicles, regardless of their size, has inherent dangers built in. Today’s highways and city streets are more congested than ever, with a heavy mix of traffic interacting with bicycles and pedestrians.
Add in distracted driving—which has been on the rise—and you’ve got a recipe for potential disaster. Sadly, accidents and fatalities on highways involving trucks, and those in cities involving pedestrians and bicyclists colliding with trucks, have been on the rise.
Preco Electronics is pleased to announce an OEM partnership with Kawasaki-KCM Wheel Loaders.
Under the terms of the partnership, Preco’s PreView® Radar object detection system is now immediately available for customers to purchase across KCMA’s Wheel Loader lineup. Kawasaki KCMA’s customers who purchase this option will benefit from Preco’s fully integrated active safety solution with rear blind zone coverage and in-cab audible and visual cues to the equipment operator.