More than 70 percent of the goods used around the country are transported by road, and New York truck drivers work as many as 70 hours during an eight-day workweek to keep up with consumer demand. Road safety statistics reveal that truck driver fatigue plays a role in about 100,000 accidents each year, and many of these crashes are catastrophic in nature because drowsy or sleeping drivers are unable to take evasive action.
A technology startup company in Oklahoma hopes that the kind of wearable technology that tells joggers how fast their hearts are beating and how many calories they have burned can be adapted to prevent truck driver fatigue. The entrepreneurs and scientists behind BlyncSync met while studying at the University of Oklahoma, and they hope that the technology being developed by the company will make life easier for truck drivers and the nation’s highways safer for all road users.
The company offers safety glasses that monitor blinking and send alerts in real time when signs of drowsiness are noticed. Blink rate is a reliable indicator of overall fatigue according to medical experts, and technology that can count blinks can be introduced quickly and inexpensively. The company plans to release a range of products capable of recording a variety of biometric data in the coming years including bands, watches and hats. The technology is currently being tested and evaluated by five logistics companies.
Personal injury attorneys who have represented individuals injured in catastrophic big rig accidents would likely support any efforts designed to make the roads safer by reducing truck driver fatigue. Attorneys may pursue civil remedies against negligent truck drivers who recklessly remain behind the wheel despite being dangerously fatigued, and they could also initiate litigation against their employers when records checks reveal a history of hours of service violations and a general disregard for public safety.