The lack of driving knowledge, skills, and experience is a critical factor in why 16,000 people die every year on the roads of South Africa. Of these accidents, 62% involve trucks, according to Truck & Freight. While a shortage of skilled drivers is a leading reason for truck accidents, pre-existing truck conditions like brake and engine malfunction often cause fatal road crashes. Other aspects like drunk driving, speeding, distractions, and fatigue also increase the risk of accidents even among the most experienced truck drivers. Fortunately, as vehicle technology continues to evolve, so are the safety guidelines for truck drivers and other motorists on the road. Below are some of the most innovative commercial truck safety technologies making roads safer for everyone.
Driver Alert Systems
As a general rule of thumb, truck drivers should not drive for more than 11 hours per day. Unfortunately, many truckers violate this rule and end up with driver fatigue, a leading cause of fatal accidents. For this reason, auto manufacturers and fleet managers are integrating driver alert systems in trucks. These systems detect the signs of an impaired or drowsy driver and then alert them using visual and sound notifications.
Like lane departure warning, the function of driver alert systems is to keep visual track of lane markings to detect when a driver deviates from the lane. However, an alert system isn’t triggered when the car is steering from its lane only. This system monitors the movement of the driver’s face and eyes throughout the journey. If it detects signs of fatigue, it sounds an alarm. If the driver doesn’t respond, the system takes corrective action to avoid a possible vehicle collision.
In recent years, there has been an increasing interest among fleet managers to integrate video cameras with other truck safety systems. Installing in-cab cameras inside trucks guarantees more context to the alerts driver assistance systems provide. That way, you can make wise decisions based on what’s happening on the road in real-time. Other benefits of using in-cab cameras include theft prevention, improved efficiency, and reduced insurance fraud.
Since in-cab cameras record what’s happening inside and outside the truck while you drive, collecting evidence in the event of an accident is easy. For instance, if a driver gets into an accident while driving in Texas, an 18 wheeler accident law firm in Houston can use the footage to identify the driver at fault because the camera records and saves everything in real-time. Road crashes involving commercial vehicles, like semi-trucks, demand more proof, simply because they involve a different set of laws, and there are multiple parties involved. Having an in-cab camera can save you a lot of trouble if you get into an accident, so invest in the best one that you can afford.
Using artificial intelligence in fleet management is critical to improving trucking safety as it helps in route optimization and boosts driver efficiency. Given that AI can analyze a large pool of data, it can get insights into driver behaviour and road conditions. For instance, by evaluating drivers’ behaviour in your trucking company, AI can pinpoint drivers who have difficulty following safety protocols. It can also recommend the specific skills they need to improve through remedial classes.
Maintaining commercial vehicle safety is crucial for keeping all road users safe. And the best way to achieve this goal is by embracing advanced vehicle safety technology. For example, using in-cab cameras helps monitor driver behaviour and surroundings to ensure they are safe. Other technologies worth investing in are artificial intelligence, driver alert systems, and GPS systems.