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Is there technology that can help with drowsy driving?

Trucks are dangerous to the drivers who are in much smaller passenger vehicles or riding on motorcycles. No matter who it is that a truck driver hits, the chances are that they'll be in a vehicle that is much smaller and less able to cope with the thousands of pounds of weight that impacts it.

The sad reality is that many of the truck accidents seen today are caused by drowsy drivers. That's why it is so exciting when technology makes it easier to support those drivers and tell them when it's time for them to stop and take a break.

According to the chief technology officer at SmartCap, fatigue is an underreported cause of accidents in the United States. For example, a crash might be attributed to poor weather or roadwork, but the driver might have been slow to respond or make a decision due to fatigue. That's a problem that needs to be addressed.

Technology may be able to help in the future

One of the first forms of technology used to help prevent drowsy driving was a system that was installed as a front-facing camera. When the camera saw the driver was struggling with head drooping or heavy eyelids, the monitoring system would ask the driver to pull over. That system didn't last due to privacy concerns, but new systems may.

One new system called Optalert measures eye blinking with LED light monitors. If the driver's eyelids stay down too long, it could signal the system to send out an alert to warn the driver that they're too tired to continue.

These are just two examples of the technology that is starting to be designed and used today. In the future, drowsy driving could be managed with systems like this, helping to reduce the risk of crashes.

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