Driving with Safety Technologies

Did you know? A Forward Collision Warning (FCW) system may reduce the number of rear-end collisions by 21 percent.


When driving, reacting in a timely manner is crucial to crash avoidance. If a driver is distracted—or simply checking his/her mirrors—failing to look forward at the onset of a conflict can substantially delay a response maneuver and drastically increase stopping distance. Fortunately, there are many safety technologies that can help drivers improve their understanding of safe behaviors, improve their awareness of the road, and alert them to unfolding conflicts. Some examples of these technologies are:

  • Camera-Video Imaging Systems use cameras mounted on the exterior of a truck to display video images of the No-Zone onto monitors mounted inside the cab. They provide a simple, low-cost countermeasure to blind-spot-related crashes by helping drivers see nearby vehicles.
  • Blind-Spot Information Systems use sensors on the truck exterior to detect the presence of vehicles traveling in the No-Zone. Drivers are notified about vehicles traveling in the No-Zone by a visual display.
  • Forward Collision Warning Systems use sensors to detect an unfolding rear-end conflict. The system generates audible and visual alerts to direct the driver’s attention to the forward roadway; some systems automatically initiate braking if the driver fails to do so in a timely manner.
  • Lane Departure Warning Systems use camera-based sensors to track the lane markings. When the truck drifts out of the lane, the LDW system generates an alert to direct the driver’s attention to the road.

This module also reviews ways in which the technologies can be misused and examples of when the systems fail are provided. Understanding the capabilities of each system is crucial in order for drivers to reap their benefits.

Learning Objectives

Participants of this course will develop an understanding of:

  • Current safety technologies.
  • How these technologies can be misused.
  • The technologies’ limitations.

Please note, neither NSTSCE nor VTTI endorse the technologies presented within this module.

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