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Using technology to reduce truck driver fatigue

For drivers in Florida, truck driver fatigue can be a real danger on the roads. Truck drivers often spend long hours over monotonous stretches of highway, leaving them at risk for exhaustion. This is especially true if they're over their legal limit on hours of service or if they have repeatedly switched between daytime and nighttime driving. Because commercial trucks are so massive, other vehicles and their occupants are at a distinct disadvantage in the event of a crash.

Many companies are looking to find ways to reduce the risk of truck driver fatigue and cut down on the resulting truck crashes. New technologies have provided innovative mechanisms to highlight warning signs of fatigue and send up an alert before an accident happens. For example, two firms, Pulsar Informatics and Trimble Technologies, came together to develop a fatigue warning system for the trucking industry that gives every driver a red, yellow or green light for the risk of fatigue he or she poses at any given time.

Pulsar previously measured sleep and fatigue among other professionals for whom exhaustion was a major safety hazard, like astronauts and airline pilots. They used this information and truckers' hours-of-service data to develop an algorithm that can provide a warning about potential fatigue based on the number of hours driven and the types of shifts involved. In addition, Trimble contributed technology that measures unsafe driving behaviors linked to fatigue, like veering outside a lane or stopping and starting suddenly.

While technology is beginning to address the threat of truck driver fatigue, people remain at risk on the roads. People who have been injured in a trucking accident due to someone else's negligent or dangerous driving might work with a personal injury lawyer to pursue compensation for their damages, including lost wages and medical bills.

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