In some regards, technology is making trucking safer. Many of these technologies serve several purposes like reducing liability, making theft of products harder and saving everyone time. Here are the top technological innovations that are making trucking safer already or have the potential to make it much safer. We’ll also discuss why they make trucking safer for both drivers and the general public when used properly.
Wearable technology offers users a number of advantages. It can track heart rates, body temperature and other metrics automatically. Fitness sensors can monitor drivers – already a high-risk group for health problems from a sedentary lifestyle – for signs of cardiac arrest or potential health problems.
At least a seventh of trucking accidents are due to driver fatigue. Wearable health tracking devices can track your sleep schedule far more accurately than you can and diagnose poor quality sleep that the user may not realize they suffer from. Long distance drivers are supposed to record how often and when they sleep. Wearable technology is starting to be used to create an accurate log of when people nap or sleep overnight. While it doesn’t replace the legally mandated logs, wearable technology can verify that drivers are getting enough rest. And a number of trucking companies are using wearable technology that triggers an alarm when the driver is too tired to drive – no matter how much sleep they’ve logged.
These health tracking systems are being adopted to reduce the odds of personal injury claims against the company.
Tools to Enhance Driving Safety
Driving alerts that notify truckers when vehicles enter their blind spots may reduce accidents. There are systems that can notify drivers when they exceed speed limits without them having to take their eyes off the road and warn them of upcoming turns. Systems built into rigs could display remaining hours of service and remind drivers of when they need to rest. And haptic feedback systems that provide someone with physical warning indicators like a vibrating watch band are safer than flashing warnings on a dashboard that distract the driver.
GPS systems don’t just help drivers know where they are and where they need to go. GPS systems along with tracking hardware allow shipping companies to know where their drivers and their trailers are at any time. This allows logistics companies to report to customers that the product is stuck on a trailer in traffic five miles away or identify drivers taking long lunch breaks at remote truck stops. This is aside from remote security systems that allow a driver to lock the truck remotely and tell the company when the truck is far off the planned delivery route, a warning sign it is being stolen. A side benefit of this technology is that it prevents truckers from taking side routes on a whim and getting stuck under a bridge.
There is no denying that new technology is having an effect on transportation and safety. Only the future will be able to tell whether it is for better or for worse.