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Companies develop technology to detect truck driver fatigue

Long hours behind the wheel are a part of life for truck drivers in Missouri, and some fleets have turned to technology to detect fatigue in drivers before accidents occur. A partnership between Trimble Transportation and Pulsar Informatics illustrates how in-cab cameras and data analysis increase the ability of fleet operators to catch fatigue and alert drivers that they should take breaks.

Trimble uses cameras to monitor the performance of drivers and compare it to other drivers throughout the fleet. The company coordinates this data with hours-of-service information collected by Pulsar. Every 15 minutes, the coordinated system updates its analysis of a driver's performance and alerts the fleet manager if a driver appears to be losing focus. The system collects information about sudden stops, sudden starts, lane departures and roll stability warnings to determine the status of a driver.

The technology from Pulsar draws upon extensive research about human fatigue in pilots and astronauts. Fatigue affects people in different ways, and the Pulsar technology helps to identify people feeling the negative impacts of hard work and long hours. When fleet managers receive warnings about drivers, they contact the people and talk to them about how they are feeling and where they should pull over for a rest.

Although commercial drivers might struggle with fatigue, drowsiness or distraction afflicts many drivers on any given day. Car accidents resulting from reckless drivers could leave accident victims with expensive medical bills and lost income. A person who wants advice about how to pursue damages after an accident may consult an attorney. An attorney might work with a crash reconstruction specialist to collect evidence about the cause of the accident. This information may support an insurance claim against the responsible party or a lawsuit if the case is headed for litigation.

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