You’re driving on an interstate, during rush hour, in a large metropolitan area, when you notice the tractor-trailer in front of you is driving erratically. Suddenly, the truck veers to the left and jack knifes, fortunately, the truck driver is unharmed, and everyone was able to avoid a collision. Although statistics show that truck drivers are some of the safest drivers on the American highways—there are a lot of them. They drive a lot of miles, and trucks are big and heavy. They can be difficult to maneuver.

The Numbers

“In 2013, there were 3,964 people killed and an estimated 95,000 people injured in crashes involving large trucks. In the United States, an estimated 342,000 large trucks were involved in police-reported traffic crashes during 2013.” National Highway Safety Administration. New biological software apps may recognize, inform, and take action to reduce these numbers.

The Possibilities

“A multitude of apps have been created to help consumers better organize their medical information, in one secure place. These digital tools allow you to store health records, upload information from devices, such as a blood glucose monitor or blood pressure cuff, and share information with your health care providers. Some even offer personalized reminders and recommendations.” Mayo Clinic

The Trucking Industry

“Human factors are a major area of study that focuses on controlling variables to develop safer, more reliable and more cost-effective transportation. The ability of a person to control a vehicle is dependent on a number of key human variables. One of these is situational awareness, which is the ability of a person to not only be aware of his surroundings but also properly adjust and react to changes in the environment. Time required for a particular task, the vigilance and experience needed to perform that task, and the medical and emotional state of the individual have an impact on situational awareness.”  Transport Topics

The Apps

Truck drivers must be constantly vigilant and mindful of their surroundings as well as situation. Anything that distracts a driver is a possible threat. New apps are being tested, which measure a driver’s alertness. For example, in-cab cameras, focused on pupil dilation and drowsiness, can be used to predict unhealthy sleep patterns. The current procedure for sleep analysis requires as much as four weeks of doctor’s visits, sleep tests, and follow-up. Using in-cab monitoring could cut that to one 12-18 hour period of testing. And that could make a huge difference on the road. “…outcomes from streamlined sleep telehealth programs demonstrate reductions in accidents up to 45% per year, health-care costs by 5% to 22% per year, and increased retention of highly skilled drivers up to 98% over multiple years.” Transport Topics

You

You may think you have no connection to the trucking industry, other than sharing the roads, but trucking connects us all. Trucking impacts every part of American life, every hour of the day. Consumer goods, medical supplies, and food come to us by truck. Anything that reduces accidents, lowers trucking industry health care costs, and retains drivers, impacts us all. Life in America without Trucking. It’s in everyone’s best interest to support the trucking Industry. #ThankaDriver