Young & McCarthy LLP

Wearable technolgy being adapted to combat driver fatigue

Almost three-quarters of the products purchased by consumers in Ohio and around the country are transported using large commercial vehicles, and tractor-trailer drivers commonly spend up to 70 hours behind the wheel during a typical workweek to keep up with this demand. Truck driver fatigue has been a road safety issue in the United States for decades, and even strict hours of service regulations are not enough to prevent about 100,000 accidents each year involving drowsy tractor-trailer drivers.

A startup technology company formed by University of Oklahoma graduates aims to address the issue of truck driver fatigue by using the sort of wearable devices favored by fitness enthusiasts. BlyncSync is developing a range of products similar to the heart monitors and calorie counters worn by joggers to monitor how often truck drivers blink, nod their heads or yawn. These devices are designed to be connected to logistics companies or dispatchers and send alerts when truck drivers may be becoming dangerously drowsy.

The company's first offering is a pair of safety goggles that keep track of how often truck drivers blink. Hats, bands and watches capable of monitoring fatigue-related biometric data are also being developed according to a BlyncSync representative. The company plans to bring the safety goggles to market once they have been thoroughly tested and evaluated in the field by trucking companies.

Drowsy truck drivers rarely apply their brakes or take other forms of evasive action before crashing, and the accidents they are involved in may be catastrophic in nature as a result. Experienced personal injury attorneys may introduce hours of service records in truck accident cases to show that truck drivers willfully ignored federal regulations designed to keep road users safe. Attorneys might also pursue civil claims against logistics companies when official records reveal a pattern of hours of service irregularities or a history of safety violations.

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