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New Technology Helps Alert Fatigued Truck Drivers

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Despite federal rules that require truck drivers to get sufficient rest and breaks between and during shifts, exhausted truck drivers pose a significant risk on our roadways and numerous instances of fatigued driving has led to devastating truck accidents across the nation. The New York Times reports that new technologies are becoming available to alert drowsy truck drivers, sometimes, even before they begin to feel tired. Biometric sensors are getting lighter, less expensive and more accurate and new software systems can connect driver and vehicle data.

Trucking companies and safety advocates say a majority of large truck accidents are linked to fatigued driving. One of the first drowsy driving-monitoring systems to appear in large trucks was a driver-facing camera that alerted the driver when it registered signs of exhaustion such as eyelid and head droops. However, privacy concerns had stalled this technology. Recently, new and wearable technology has been developed that monitors drivers, but in a subtler way, and comes in a variety of forms from caps and vests to wristbands and eyewear.

Sophisticated Technology

Glasses manufactured by Optalert measure a driver’s rate and duration of eye blinking with an LED light monitor. Real-time measurements are displayed on a dash-mounted device with alarms and notifications. Another product, a headset made by Maven Machines, detects which way the driver is looking and even measures actions such as mirror checks, which may decline in frequency the more tired a driver gets. The headset detects head bobs and jerks, which are common symptoms of fatigue and sleepiness.

These types of devices typically involve advanced and complex software that pulls data from a number of sources including accelerometers that are embedded inside them as well as from sensors in the truck’s onboard computer and GPS information from nearby cell towers. The system has the ability to discern whether the driver is traveling at an unsafe speed or if he is just passing someone, going down a hill or crossing a highway overpass. Another device is the SmartCap, a headband that fits into caps and beanies.

This band measures electronic brain waves and evaluates alertness or fatigue. It then sends an alert to the driver to help him or her decide on how to recover from their fatigue. Drivers might then choose to stop in a rest area and get some sleep or have a cup of coffee or a brisk walk to freshen up.

Predicting Exhaustion

One trucking company uses a camera and software system that talks back to the truck and the insurance company for driver safety and monitoring. This system stores 10 seconds of driver front –facing video before and after an unusual event such as harsh acceleration or sharp turns. The front camera can be critical because it records what is happening on the road at the time of a collision and helps determine who might have been at fault.

Some devices try to predict a driver’s drowsiness. Software sold by one firm analyzes sleep data from wearables, the quality of sleep, etc. which may help predict when the driver is likely to feel tired. These predictions make it possible for drivers to be more aware of a fatigue risk before it surfaces. Companies can also use this information and change their schedules accordingly.

However, some say that while these wearables, camera and other technology ae a step in the right direction, they provide only a temporary solution for the bigger problem of truck driver fatigue. Systemic changes including how drivers are paid can do more to help reduce fatigued truck driving, advocates say.

Contacting an Experienced Lawyer

Victims who have been injured in truck accidents may be able to seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost income and benefits, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. Families of deceased accident victims may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for damages such as lost future income, funeral costs, medical expenses, pain and suffering, etc.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, or if you have lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent or careless driver, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.

For over 48 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims. Our law firm recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.

Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.

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1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES

Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/06/business/drowsy-driving-truckers.html


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