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Shaken awake

Driver fatigue is a factor in 10 to 20% of crashes worldwide. It affects driving in various waysTruck accident Sourced Fotolia including slowed reaction time and lack of concentration. If your reaction time is just half a second slower while driving only 40km per hour, it will take two car lengths longer to stop.

Statistics say drivers who have not slept for 17 hours are comparable to drivers with a 0.05 blood alcohol level. Someone who has not slept for 24 hours has the same driving impairment as someone with 0.10 blood alcohol levels. This is concerning considering that fatigued driving does not receive the same attention or even legal consequences as drunken driving. 

The MD of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says fatigue amongst truck drivers in South Africa is a serious concern as they often drive long and monotonous routes. “Research conducted by the Interdisciplinary Accident Research Centre in South Africa, says driver fatigue is one of the main causes of truck crashes with 41% of accidents being fatigue related. Of the problems faced by truck drivers, 39% were related to fatigue.”

If you encourage your drivers to take regular breaks and do not place undue pressure on drivers to make deliveries, what else can you do to prevent fatigue related crashes? “IUM has introduced Seeing Machine technology to South Africa which uses a motor to shake the seat on which a driver is sitting if they fall asleep.

“It uses algorithms, sensors and cameras to track eye and face movement and consequently notify an alarm system if the driver appears to be falling asleep or if they are driving distracted. The sensors are not only linked to alarms within the cab but to a control centre who can alert the fleet manager to take necessary steps to assess the driver’s alertness,” says Herbert.

Driver fatigue is an issue which every driver and fleet manager needs to take seriously. This will not only save companies money but potentially prevent the often fatal fatigue related crashes.

If you would like to find out more about this interesting technology, give MasterDrive a call on 011 867 4778.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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