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Technologies aim to prevent truck accidents

The size, weight and mass of big rigs can lead to some particularly dangerous collisions on Pennsylvania roads. Truck drivers operate their massive vehicles for long stretches of time, which means distraction and fatigue can be overwhelming.

To help prevent truck collisions, many fleet companies are exploring new technologies that could highlight dangerous levels of fatigue or distraction. By using video and analytics, they may be able to tell if a driver is operating dangerously. Fatigue monitoring systems use smartphone tests, dash camera technologies and wearables to detect drivers who are showing indications of fatigue. Some software uses hours-of-service logs to estimate each driver's sleep levels. In addition, other programs rely on watch-like items worn by drivers to assess body movements, pulse and other indicators of fatigue. Some camera-based systems look for visual signs of exhaustion like drooping eyes or a nodding head.

Other systems are designed to reduce distraction. They can be as simple as cellphone-blocking devices or mandatory apps designed to prevent drivers from using their mobile devices when on the road. Other systems use video cameras inside the truck to monitor a trucker's behavior. Many companies are also working proactively to install hands-free devices inside trucks to allow drivers to use GPS systems and other important technologies without removing their hands from the wheel.

Truck accidents can cause serious injuries and even take lives on the road. In many cases, they are caused by negligence or distraction behind the wheel. Someone who has been injured by a negligent truck driver can work with a personal injury attorney to seek compensation for damages.

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