The trucking industry employs around 3.5 million people across the country and also powers the economy, with truckers crossing state lines with essential supplies on a daily basis. State and federal law regulate truckers and a new one requires a logging device on trucks to ensure drivers are not being pushed to drive more than their federally mandated hours and that they are taking their allotted breaks.
However, truck drivers often drive through the night, when the body naturally readies itself to sleep. A lack of sleep, even when within driving hours, can cause truck drivers to be fatigued during the day. According to some estimates, a vast majority of truck accidents are caused by driver fatigue.
There have been moves to use technology to alert drivers that they are becoming drowsy. One of the first of these was a camera that faced the driver and alerted them if their head drooped or eyelids dropped, but this did not get far for privacy concerns. Newer technology is wearable and gives better readings.
Just some examples include glasses that measure eye blinking, headsets that measure mirror checks that decrease if someone is drowsy and headbands to measure alertness or fatigue. Many of these systems also send alerts to the drivers and are fitted with alarms and notifications to help drivers regulate themselves.
Advancements don’t solve problems
According to some experts, these are just band-aids-they do not resolve the problem. Driver fatigue is a serious issue that has to be addressed industry wide by changing policies to improve efficiency.
An accident with a truck can be devastating, given the sheer size difference between a truck and other vehicles. If the truck accident was caused by the trucker’s negligence, it might be possible to hold the driver and the company responsible for the actions.