All drivers in Virginia have good reason to be concerned about truck driver fatigue. When exhausted drivers take the wheel of large commercial trucks, the results can be devastating and even deadly. Because semi trucks have such significant mass and weight, they can cause severe injuries to people in other vehicles in the event of a crash. In addition, the nature of truck driving can lead to exhaustion; drivers often work for long hours, moving over monotonous highways with unchanging scenery.
Because of the damage that can be caused by truck crashes, companies are working to find innovative solutions that can help to combat fatigue. One project was jointly designed by Pulsar Informatics and Trimble Technologies; it gathers different types of information to produce a red, yellow or green signal that indicates the fatigue risk posed by any given driver at a particular time. Pulsar’s background is in evaluating fatigue among people in other professions where exhaustion can be dangerous: astronauts and airline pilots. It created an algorithm that includes a driver’s hours of service, shifts and more to indicate which drivers could be at a greater risk of fatigue.
However, an algorithm cannot fully capture the circumstances of individual drivers, especially when dealing with personal stresses or activities. Trimble’s contribution to the warning system measures dangerous driving behaviors that have been linked to exhaustion like veering in and out of lanes or stopping and starting suddenly. It measures these issues in comparison to the fleet as a whole, flagging outliers.
While these technologies aim to make the roads safer, too many drowsy or negligent truck drivers are still on the road. People who have been injured in a trucking accident due to trucking company negligence might consider efforts to pursue compensation for their damages, including medical bills and lost wages, by working with a personal injury lawyer.