Driving a commercial truck is demanding and exhausting. Often, commercial drivers are expected to cover vast distances on very tight schedules. To accomplish this, many truckers must drive through the night or forego rest breaks to recover time lost in traffic. As we discussed in a recent post, truck driver fatigue was a contributing factor in last year’s deadly Palm Desert bus crash. When truckers don’t get enough rest, everyone’s safety is at risk.
According to a recent press release published in Automotive World, a new device may be on the way to help prevent accidents caused by trucker fatigue. While most people use wearable technology to tell time or track workouts, Ford’s version may help keep motorists safe.
A New Take on the Trucker Hat
At first sight, Ford’s “Safe Cap” looks like any other trucker hat. However, it does much more than block the sun or make a fashion statement. The hat is equipped with sensors that measure a driver’s head movements to identify fatigue.
The hat then produces vibration, sound and light signals to alert the driver and encourage a rest break. While technology cannot force drivers to stop and take a break, it can provide them with the information they need to identify a safety risk. The technology could also be useful for employers to evaluate the safety of routes and schedules.
The cap was tested in real driving conditions for eight months. The technology must go through additional testing, patenting and certification before it can be implemented, but it is promising for the future of accident prevention.