One Tech May Help End Drowsy Driving – and it’s Not ELDs
Truck drivers work a job where they’re regularly pushed to their limits. Long hours on the road and multiple routes within quick succession can take their toll on even the most attentive driver.
The subject of drowsy drivers in the freight industry has been gaining attention for years. Safety advocates claim that an increase in crashes that involve truckers nodding off behind the wheel warrant new regulatory mandates.
The upcoming switch to electronic logging devices this December is the most highly publicized move of this time. The idea is that truckers who adhere to hours of service rules will be less likely to tired behind the wheel, and thus less likely to cause an accident.
Even mandatory sleep apnea tests were considered, though the idea was shot down due to a lack of empirical data to support it. Some drivers say the same lack of data makes a case against the switch to ELDs. However, that mandate is expected to take effect without delays.
With so many concerns about top-down regulatory control burdening truckers, many are looking for a different solution to the problem of drowsy drivers. A company in Portugal may have just created the solution.
CardioWheel Technologies has just invented an innovative steering wheel, designed to detect drowsiness and fatigue. The wheel uses a custom cover equipped with conductive elements. The wheel can obtain ECG information, monitoring impulses generated by the heart and processing the data to determine whether a driver is becoming tired or experiencing health problems.
An alert will be issued if a driver is determined to be fatigued. A unique spin on traditional driver assistance programs, this system is also compatible with other technologies designed to improve road safety.
The Mobileye collision avoidance system, which monitors the road in front of drivers and helps them identify potential hazards, can be connected with this innovative steering wheel.
Sometimes its technological innovations rather than legal mandates that can solve an industry’s biggest problems. A small upgrade that provides safety benefits without such stringent controls may offer a great option for carriers, and it may be a step in changing the way people look at addressing concerns in the industry.