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It's a Team's Life

Don't look Down

By Linda Caffee
Posted Nov 16th 2020 7:47AM

It only takes seconds for a safe driver's record to be irreparably damaged by taking your eyes off the road.  Turning to talk to a passenger in the vehicle, dropping something on the floor, or the worst, looking down at your phone, is a recipe for disaster. 

Having a truck with collision mitigation such as Freightliners Detroit Assurance makes total sense as the radar-based system is always watching what is happening in front of the truck. When the radar sees something, an alarm is sounded, then a visual warning, and then if no interaction, the truck uses the transmission, engine brake, and service brakes to slow the truck down quickly. The truck will not "avoid" an accident, but it will hit the object at a slower speed or stop the truck before hitting the object. 

This all sounds like a win-win situation, doesn't it?   The system, though, is not intelligent, and the driver is still needed to drive the truck and to counteract when the truck overreacts. When the truck is in a curve, and the front-facing radar sees a metal object such as a guard rail or even another truck that is a little further down the road, we will receive an audible warning or even have the engine brake applied.  It is up to us as the driver or captain of the ship to tell the truck, no worries; we will not hit that object and drive on. 

In this past week, I have seen the aftermath of a truck rear-ending another truck at a high rate of speed.  One truck and one trailer were totaled, and a customer's product was scattered all over the interstate. It did not look as if the driver of the truck doing the rear-ending lived through that accident and the fire.  The same week as a group of trucks came around a curve in the interstate and saw the traffic at a stop. I noticed a trailer that had smoke rolling out from the trailer tires with the brakes locked up.  Luckily those around saw what was happening, and they stopped quicker to give this truck driver room to regain control of their truck and trailer. 

The more we understand the truck and collision mitigation, the better we can act as partners for a smooth trip.  I cannot imagine driving a truck without a collision mitigation system. 

Bob & Linda Caffee


Saint Louis MO

Expediters since January 2005

[email protected]


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