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Are Self-Driving Semis Safe, and Should they be Tested on Our Roads?

October 26, 2020
blue semi truck

We’ve all heard the hubbub about self-driving trucks, but what’s it really all about and how safe is this practice. Apparently, driverless trucks are already out there – quietly doing their thing – and the safety implications are yet to be accurately tallied. If a trucker – or the absence of a trucker – leaves you injured in a truck accident, don’t wait to consult with an experienced NYC personal injury attorney.

According to CNN’s 60 Minutes

According to a recent segment on 60 Minutes:

  • Trucking companies are already testing the waters with driverless trucks.
  • It’s not a matter of if driverless trucks will become an official thing but when they will do so.
  • There is a high-speed race already taking place between major players and smaller upstarts to grab the brass ring and be the first to go driverless (outside of testing).
  • The truck manufacturers and trucking companies stand to make billions; many truck drivers will likely lose their livelihoods.
  • 70 percent of our nation’s goods get to us via big rigs.

The First Driverless Truck to Fly Solo

A smaller tech-disruptor recently sent a 35,000-pound rig barreling down the highway with absolutely no backup driver on board – a first of its kind. If you haven’t yet heard of this brave new world, you’re not alone. Truck drivers themselves relay that they had no idea such experiments were taking place – they hadn’t heard, and they are alarmed. Most other companies who deal in autonomous trucks – and there are some big deals out there whom you’ve likely never heard of – are still equipping their autonomous cabs with safety operators. At least one of these companies, however, relays that, by 2021, it will likely be ready to unleash the full force of a completely driverless truck.

Improved Safety?

A representative from one autonomous truck company shares the industry’s belief that driverless trucks will actually be safer because they eliminate the most common forms of driver negligence, including:

  • Distraction
  • Exhaustion
  • Impairment
  • Aggression
  • Nonadherence to the rules of the road

Further, these trucks have enhanced visuals, which means they don’t face the same visual impairments caused by inclement weather that truck drivers do.


The technology associated with automated trucks is proprietary, which means the attendant safety statistics aren’t being shared. This also means that there is little transparency about exactly how safe driverless trucks are. To date, there are few accountability protocols in place. In other words, the jury is still out when it comes to how safe sharing our roads with driverless trucks actually is.

Reach Out to an Experienced New York City Personal Injury Attorney Today

If someone else’s negligence leaves you injured in a truck accident, the dedicated personal injury attorneys at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman in NYC are well-positioned to help. Our firm is one of the oldest and most well-respected in the City, and we are committed to applying our vast resources and experience in support of your case. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 212-285-3300 today.


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