Safety Technology to Combat Driver Distraction and Fatigue
Advances in technology are giving trucking companies increasingly sophisticated ways to combat distracted and drowsy driving – two of the biggest threats to fleet safety. Additional safety technology offers a video safety system designed to help motor carriers to tackle this challenge. The safety technology system uses pre-defined triggers to capture video of certain behaviors, such as hard braking, speeding and harsh acceleration and corner handling.
If you’re being watched, it's human nature you’re going to behave differently. The presence of the camera affects a truck driver's actions and our safety. Onboard driver camera technology has prevented or reduced truck drivers from operating their semi-trucks distracted or fatigued.
The goal of this technology is to provide trucking companies with actionable information that helps improve truck safety as well as operational efficiency.
The risk of distracted driving has increased in recent years with the proliferation of smartphones. A U.S. Department of Transportation commissioned a report from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that 5 seconds is the average time a person’s eyes are off the road while texting. At 55 miles per hour, driving an 85 thousand pound tractor and trailer for 5 seconds while texting equates to traveling the length of a football field without looking at the roadway.
In response to this danger, 46 states have enacted bans against text messaging while driving, and 14 states have banned all hand-held cell phone use while driving. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration does not allow any handheld use of mobile devices while driving.
The trucking industry’s methods of tackling distracted and drowsy driving are changing at a rapid pace. One day, this technology could make fatigued driving so rare that hours-of-service regulations become obsolete.
Limitations on hours of service rules fail to take into account the fatigue drivers may be experiencing before they even start logging hours and the fact that drivers are often forced to rest at times when they are fully awake and capable of driving safely for several more hours.
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