Federal regulations set strict limits on how many hours truck drivers can work per day. The purpose is to give drivers time to sleep and reduce the risk of serious truck accidents due to drowsy driving.
While these regulations shape trucking companies’ official policies, nobody knows for sure if any particular trucker on a Valdosta-area highway is awake and alert or exhausted. The driver might think they are okay to drive but doze off or make a critical mistake due to fatigue. You could be in danger of being hit by a semi without knowing it until it is too late.
Anything that would prevent this from happening is welcome. A company called Omnitracs says it has developed technology that detects when a truck driver is falling asleep and alerts the driver to the situation.
Complex technology monitoring for signs of fatigue
The system, called SmartSense for Inattentive Driving+, uses a combination of cameras, sensors, computer software and artificial intelligence to detect signs that the person in the cab’s driver’s seat is drowsy or nodding off, such as closed or lowered eyes. It then sets off an alarm within the cab. OmniTracs says the system also knows when the driver is distracted by their phone, smoking or is generally not paying attention to the road.
Having technology like this inside the cab would help prevent truck accidents caused by the trucker unknowingly being affected by drowsiness. It is harder to believe that truckers who are driving distracted will stop their dangerous behavior because an alarm went off. But reducing the possibility of tired truck drivers losing control on the highway would be a good thing.