New tech solutions for truck safety
As truck accident lawyers, we don’t just handle truck accident cases, we also strive to improve safety on our nation’s highways. We regularly join with other advocates across the country in support of better safety laws and regulations. Sometimes, working toward change can feel like an uphill battle. So, it’s especially gratifying to see trucking companies and researchers voluntarily investing in safety technology that will save lives.
Artificial Daylight to Improve Trucker Health, Safety
One exciting tech solution to a serious truck safety issue is the use of artificial daylight in truck cabs.
Logging 10+ hour days and making long overnight trips can take a toll on truck drivers’ physical and mental health. It also presents a safety hazard – a drowsy driver behind the wheel of an 80,000lb vehicle can spell disaster. So, researchers in Germany sought to counteract the effects of darkness on the brain. Daimler Trucks produced a light module inside the cab that mimicked the effects of daylight (without producing a glare on the windshield).
They tested eight truck drivers in Finland’s arctic circle – where darkness lasts almost all day. They found that the artificial daylight reduced driver drowsiness and impeded the production of melatonin in the brain, improved the drivers’ mental states, and even improved their driving performance.
Researchers hope that this kind of technology might improve highway safety and give truck drivers a better quality of life, perhaps even make the industry more appealing to job seekers.
Stopping a Crash Before it Happens
In the U.S., truck maker Paccar announced that collision avoidance systems will soon come standard with its Peterbilt 579 model.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that nearly 80% of deaths and injuries from rear-end crashes could be avoided with this kind of technology. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates automatic braking could reduce all rear-end collisions by 40%. Crash avoidance tech will come standard in smaller vehicles by 2022. Though it may be longer for implementation in large trucks, Paccar’s move is a good start.
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