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In the competitive world of managing local fleets, fleet managers are always battling the clock. Whether it’s fuel delivery, utility services, or fleets used in mining or delivering packages, keeping goods and services flowing without interruption is essential.

It’s common for local fleet drivers to work long and irregular hours, therefore, a common problem fleet safety managers face is driver fatigue, leading to an increased risk of incidents. This is why understanding Driver Safety Technology options is vital to safe fleet management.

With the advent of advanced fleet safety technologies, fleet managers now have powerful tools at their disposal to not only detect and prevent driver fatigue hazards in real-time, but now to proactively manage driver fatigue issues before they become incidents.

In this article, we'll explore how fleet driver safety technology is revolutionizing the fight against driver fatigue in fleets.

The Dangers of Driver Fatigue                                                                      

 Fatigue Graphic, Source: Driver fatigue | Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (nzta.govt.nz)


Driving while fatigued is extremely dangerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 25 adult drivers admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel within the last 30 days. It's a big problem, most fleet drivers are driving alone leading to a less stimulated work space and its estimated 6,400 fatalities annually are linked to fatigued driving, as per the National Sleep Foundation.

When you're fatigued, your reactions slow down, your awareness drops, and you can't focus well—just like when you're intoxicated. In fact, driving after staying awake for over 20 hours is like driving with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08%, which is the legal limit. Fatigued drivers are three times more likely to crash. When you understand these stats, it becomes imperative that steps be taken to protect your fleet drivers, your safety record, and the public.

Reactive Driver Safety Technology

Real-time fatigue monitoring technologies serve as the safety net that catches potential problems as they occur. These technologies offer a layer of protection against incidents resulting from driver fatigue. Real-time fatigue monitoring systems, such as dashcams and collision avoidance systems, come into play when a driver is already on the road and may be impaired.

It is more important than ever to have the most modern safety systems for your fleet; newer fleet safety systems decrease the chances of accidents and include safety features such as forward collision warning systems, lane departure warning, and backup cameras. Each of these can play a role in offsetting the worst outcomes of a fatigued driver.

Reactive Driver Safety Technology Systems & Software

Dashcams: Dashcams can identify the following behaviors while they’re happening: mobile phone use, smoking, tailgating, eyes off the road, and eating/drinking, providing valuable insights into driver conduct and allowing fleet managers to address these issues promptly. 

Electronic Logging Device (ELD): ELDs track commercial drivers' hours of service (HoS) compliance, replacing paper logbooks. They offer real-time data on driver availability, promote safety and compliance with regulations, and contribute to efficient fleet management.

Fatigue Meters: These analyze (HoS) hours-of-service logs to predict driver fatigue levels by estimating sleep patterns based on duty periods. Scores update every 15 minutes, providing real-time fatigue assessments.

Telematics: This technology combines telecommunications and informatics to monitor and manage vehicle fleets in real time. It collects data on driver behavior, vehicle performance, and location to enhance safety, optimize routes, improve communication, ensure regulatory compliance, and even offer video monitoring for added protection. 

Wearables: Devices like wristwatches, eyeglasses, and Fitbit-like gadgets detect fatigue without cameras. They use actigraphy to measure body movement, sleep quality, and predict alertness decline.

Anti-Fatigue Headwear: Smart hats and caps with forehead sensors detect head movement and brainwave patterns, wirelessly transmitting this data to the truck's cabin.

Facial Mapping: Facial monitoring systems like dash cams, capture driver images to identify fatigue and distraction symptoms like head nodding, drooping eyelids, yawning, and gaze direction. They estimate driver alertness based on these cues and may set off an alarm or vibrate the seat. 

Investigating Reactive Fleet Driver Safety Technology 

The fleet driver safety systems described above are reactive. That is, they don’t prevent an overly fatigued driver from taking the wheel, they only can try and prevent a specific incident. A fatigued driver nodding off may be alerted to drifting out of their lane and may respond in that moment, but that doesn't mean that they won’t drift off again in a few miles.

The best way to manage fleet driver fatigue is to implement a predictive system that prevents a fatigued driver from taking the wheel in the first place. Tests such as the psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) gauge cognitive alertness. Originally developed for astronauts, PVT tests can be used to assess fitness for duty. Unfortunately, as designed, these tests can be time consuming and intensive. Fortunately, there is new impairment detection technology available that models the PVT test but can be executed quickly, effectively and affordably.

Fatigue can be monitored and eliminated before it becomes a liability. Now, of course, accidents can happen unexpectedly, but when it comes to driver fatigue, proactive measures can detect fatigue before your fleet drivers even start the engine. 

What is Proactive Fleet Driver Safety Technology?

While reactive measures like real-time fatigue monitoring have been crucial, proactive strategies are emerging as game-changers, aimed at predicting and preventing fatigue-related incidents before they occur.

The AlertMeter® impairment detection app is quick and affordable and still is highly accurate in assessing if a drive is fit for duty. These tests provide an objective measure of a driver's alertness and fatigue levels, offering fleet managers valuable insights into their drivers' readiness to hit the road. 

Imagine a simple, affordable, and labor-friendly test that takes less than a minute to complete but has the power to safeguard your drivers and the public. These pre-shift fatigue impairment tests are revolutionizing proactive safety in fleet management. By integrating these tests into pre-shift routines, fleet managers can ensure that only alert and well-rested drivers embark on their journeys, significantly reducing the risk of fatigue-related incidents. 

This proactive approach not only enhances safety but workplace professionals are saying these tests foster a culture of fleet safety because supervisors are actively engaging with drivers in a safety-oriented conversation promoting awareness and alertness, making roads safer for everyone.

Two Driver Safety Technology Solutions

What is AlertMeter?

In a groundbreaking effort to enhance workplace safety, Predictive Safety has developed an innovative alertness testing system based on the PVT (psychomotor vigilance task) test that has been proven effective by the NIOSH research team. AlertMeter is designed to screen workers before they commence their duties right from their phones, ensuring they are free from fatigue or other impairments. This cutting-edge technology is a short, non-linguistic cognitive assessment that measures reaction times, decision-making speed, orientation, and hand-eye coordination. 

proactive driver safety technology


Crucially, the test's efficiency lies in its brevity, taking just 60 seconds to complete, making it a practical tool for real workplace use without significantly delaying the start of work.

The aim of the AlertMeterTM is to reduce accidents stemming from fatigue or other impairment sources, which are responsible for an estimated 70% of workplace accidents involving human error. While the current industry practices focus on managing shift work scheduling and educating operators, this test represents a transformative approach. 

By assessing each worker against their personal baseline, it not only ensures fitness for work but also fosters a culture of safety awareness. As this innovative testing system continues to evolve, it promises to have a substantial impact on fleet safety.

What is PRISM-Monitor/Workforce?

A tool that complements Alertmeter is PRISM, PRISM is a fatigue tracking system that forecasts employees fatigue levels throughout the week. PRISM-Monitor gives managers and supervisors the ability to quantify and observe the potential for and the progression of fatigue. Predict fatigue hot spots in individual workers, shifts, and departments, enabling fatigue to be quantified so it can be managed delivering safer, more productive shifts. PRISM-Workforce engages the entire team with personalized alerts when fatigue progresses to at-risk levels. PRISM-Workforce is also the only Fatigue Management System that can assess worker alertness relative to predicted fatigue.

Wrapping up Driver Safety Technology

In the competitive world of fleet management, combating driver fatigue is a constant challenge. PRISM, alongside AlertMeterTM, leads the charge in proactively addressing this issue. While reactive measures like real-time fatigue monitoring play a crucial role in safety, proactive strategies are emerging as game-changers. These proactive measures predict and prevent fatigue-related incidents before they occur, fostering a culture of fleet safety and making roads safer for everyone.

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Additional Fleet Safety Resources

Mastering Fleet Safety: Proactive Safety Systems

Driver Fatigue Prediction,  Monitoring & Impairment Detection Fleet Safety Software

7 Best Fleet Safety Program Technologies

Insurance Business Australia In Partnership with Zurich Insurance Explores Best Practices for Improving Fleet Safety Management Program

Fleet Safety Management

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Predictive Safety Provides Software & Apps for Fatigue Management

PRISM Manages Workforce Fatigue

Visualize, Quantify, And Predict Fatigue In Real-Time Before It Becomes A Risk For The Safest, Most Productive Workforce.

AlertMeter Empowers Worker Fatigue Self-Assessment 

The AlertMeter® allows you to anticipate who the next at-risk person could be and to put safeguards in place for that specific person at that moment.

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