One of the dangers associated with big commercial trucks is that they have large blind spots. When a passenger vehicle is driving right next to, or directly behind the truck, the truck driver may not see that vehicle. This can be dangerous if the truck driver tries to change lanes or comes to an abrupt stop.
New technology, including rearview camera systems, can help prevent truck accidents by expanding the driver’s view of other vehicles in the vicinity. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is taking steps to replace the side mirrors on large trucks with a more advanced rearview camera system.
New Rearview Camera Option
The Stoneridge MirrorEye Camera Monitor System (CMS) provides the driver with a more complete view of the surrounding area, compared to traditional rearview mirrors. The wide angle, narrow angIe, and passenger-side “look-down” camera helps eliminate potentially dangerous blind spots.
In addition to the external digital cameras, the system includes digital monitors inside the truck.
The system provides a number of other benefits, including:
Superior full-color night vision
Camera that is capable of tracking the end of the trailer
Interior mount that helps reduce eye and neck fatigue
Self-cleaning and defrosting cameras that provide improved visibility in all weather conditions
Other Benefits of the MirrorEye CMS
Testing has also shown that commercial trucks that are equipped with the MirrorEye CMS can expect up to 2.5 percent savings in fuel, due to the reduction in aerodynamic drag. The FMCSA granted Stoneridge a five-year exemption, which will help introduce innovative driver-vision technology to market, according to the Stoneridge President and CEO. More importantly, it will improve safety by eliminating blind spots that are associated with many devastating truck accidents.
Another feature of the system is that if one of the cameras fails to operate, the other camera images will continue to be displayed. In addition, the high-definition cameras provide glare reduction, low light sensitivity, and trailer planning capabilities.
The system can also track the end of the trailer, keeping it in view, which can prevent dangerous right-hand turn collisions involving other motorists and pedestrians.
Testing and Fine-Tuning
A number of fleets have tested the system, including Maverick Transportation, J.B. Hunt, and Schneider National, and reported that the system made them feel safer.
According to the Vice President of Business Development at Stoneridge, the MirrorEye technology was developed and fine-tuned based on input from truck drivers who tested the technology in real-life scenarios on the road.
Truck drivers must share the road with other motorists every day, and the MirrorEye CMS can prevent many of the safety issues that commercial truck drivers encounter on a regular basis.