Hard-working commercial truck drivers put in long hours as they travel the highways and byways in New Mexico and throughout the nation. Sometimes, the dedication of approximately 3.5 million truckers gets in the way of simple common sense. Far too often, truckers trying to “make good time” and get to their destinations quickly sacrifice much-needed rest breaks and sleep.
When ignored, fatigue represents a slippery slope that slows reaction and overall decision-making. If ignored over time, the consequences become dire, if not deadly.
Using Innovation to Make Roads Safer
Technology to address the problem of drowsy operation initially involved a camera pointed at the trucker to identify if eyelids or heads were drooping while driving. The effectiveness will never be known as privacy issues prevented the technology from full implementation.
More recent innovations can now provide operators of 18-wheelers with compelling, more tangible evidence that fatigue has set in. Wearable technology in the form of headbands, caps, vests, wristbands and eyewear contain key biometric sensors that communicate potential dangers to nearby cellphones. For drivers traveling alongside 18-wheelers, this solution to an all-too-common problem could make roads safer.
The new systems have been in existence for a while. However, the trucking industry has been slow to implement them. Electronic logging devices are currently the priority to ensure that drivers are taking required breaks and staying within hours-of-service limits.
Adding headwear with sensors can potentially provide an added layer of protection and lessen the tragic consequences that come with catastrophic motor vehicle accidents.