All truck drivers know that it is all too easy to get tired on the road. Driving hours and hours on the same highways, sometimes at night, can bring on fatigue and drowsiness. Drowsy driving is dangerous and often leads to crashes, which can injure truck drivers. The good news is that there are new technological tools that monitor certain biometrics and movements to alert drivers when they are too fatigued to be on the road, and they should pull over and rest. The following are only some options to help truck drivers stay safe and injury-free.
Optalert sells glasses that truckers can wear to regularly measure their blinking patterns. As fatigue sets in, eyelids droop, and blinking patterns change. These glasses alert truck drivers when their eye patterns indicate sleepiness.
Headsets and Headbands
One company is selling headsets that drivers can wear, which measure different movements, including:
- Where the driver is looking
- How often the driver checks the mirrors, which reduces with fatigue
- Whether the driver’s head is bobbing or jerking
Drivers can also get GPS and weather information from the headset, and the device can identify whether the driver is engaging in dangerous speeding or braking habits. Another company is selling a headband that drivers can wear that measures their brain waves. When brain activity demonstrates fatigue, the headband alerts the driver.
Some drivers are mounting cameras in their trucks that keep tabs on where a driver is looking. If it seems like the driver is falling asleep or nodding off, the device can send a warning or even cause vibrations in the driver’s seat to wake them up so they can get off the road.
Drowsy Driving and Truck Accidents
Even with advances in safety technology, truck drivers can still become dangerously fatigued on the road. The effects of drowsy driving are likened to those of drunk driving, often causing:
- Slowed reaction time
- Poor judgment
- Blurred vision
If a driver nods off even for a few seconds, it is long enough for them to lose control of the semi-truck and crash. Drivers often sustain serious injuries in crashes, which can require medical treatment and keep them out of work. While new technology can help combat drowsy driving, there are still many additional efforts that the trucking industry can take to help prevent fatigue on the roads and the resulting injuries. In the event of an accident and injuries, drivers should take the steps needed to file a workers’ compensation claim and receive the benefits they deserve under Missouri law.
Contact a Missouri Workers’ Compensation Attorney for Assistance
There is always the risk of injuries in the transportation industry, and the Missouri workers’ compensation lawyers at The Law Firm of Webster & Carlton are ready to help injured drivers. Our legal team can handle the entire claims process for our clients. We have offices in both Springfield and Joplin to best serve Missouri’s workers, so please contact us for more information today.