Drowsy driving is a serious threat on the roadway. New technology may help to reduce the issue and save lives.
Drowsy driving is a top killer on the roadways and is an activity that has been labeled as something that is just as dangerous as drunk driving. For truck drivers, drowsy driving is especially worrisome. Not only may truck drivers be at a greater risk of drowsy driving due to spending long hours on the road, often without proper rest, but large trucks can cause catastrophic damage when they collide with smaller vehicles.
New technology seeks to help drivers stay awake and reduce the number of drowsy driving-involved truck accidents. Here is what you need to know:
Helping Drivers Avoid Their Worst Nightmare
As explained by an article inThe New York Times, falling asleep at the wheel is a truck driver’s worst nightmare. Yet it is something that drivers of big rigs struggle with, as driving often means driving during a graveyard shift, sleeping in random intervals, driving for long hours at a time, and perhaps not stopping for rest as required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
In order to help drivers stay safe, new technologies are being advanced that help drivers stay awake. These technologies, called biometric sensors, were slow to make it to market but are now finding their way into cabs.
How Biometric Sensors Work
As the name implies, biometric sensors work by paying attention to drivers’ bodies. Available in both wearable and non-wearable forms, the biometric sensors may watch a driver’s face to see if their eyes start to close or their head starts to nod, can measure a driver’s eye blinking (and if lids close for too long, respond), can determine whether a driver is looking forward through a windshield as well as sideways to check mirrors, and detect head bobs and head jerks. If a system notices that the driver is nodding off, it can alert them by sounding an alarm or vibrating. One technology, the SmartCap device, actually measures a driver’s brain waves, and can use them to measure the level of fatigue or alertness.
Predictive Tools Available, Too
In addition to technology that can measure when a driver is falling asleep, preventative technologies have also been developed, too. For example, one software can analyze a driver’s sleep data (collected from wearables) and then make a prediction about whether or not the driver will fall asleep. This can also serve as a personal alert system, letting a driver know of the risk and encouraging them to take action before falling asleep at the wheel happens.
Get Help from a TX Attorney if You Have Been in a Drowsy Driving Crash
If you have been in a drowsy driving truck accident, we strongly recommend consulting with an experienced attorney who’s worked on drowsy driving cases in the past. At the Law Office of Raul A. Guajardo, P.L.L.C., we can help. Call our law firm today for your free consultation.