The trucking industry serves an important role in Massachusetts and other states across the nation. However, large trucks pose many risks on the roads. Because many truck drivers make lengthy trips, some throughout the night. While regulations seek to address issues regarding hours of service, this does not fully address the issues regarding drowsy truck drivers and the potential for truck accidents.
Can technology reduce fatigued truck drivers? According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a recent study was conducted to develop and test a prototype system that would be able to detect and alert drowsy, distracted and aggressive driver prior to their performance degradation.
This was successfully developed in 2013, and Phase I of this project proved that an effective system that could detect drowsy driving could be affordable for commercial vehicles. Based on the summary of this system, an advisory and warning message would be presented to the driver if the system indicates drowsiness. In addition, a supplemental notification could be sent to the fleet management or the owner of the vehicle.
Fatigued driver is a major concern for all motorists because it causes slower reaction times. In addition, it could reduce cognitive processing of information, make it difficult to perform tasks, cause poor judgments and cause other safety and accuracy concerns. A drowsy truck driver is a critical safety issue and can be difficult to fully address.
Those harmed in a truck accident that was caused by a fatigued driver could hold that driver responsible through a civil action. A personal injury claim could help an injured victim recover compensation for their losses and damages.
Source: FMCSA.DoT.gov, "Drowsy Driver Mitigation System," accessed Jan. 11, 2016