How AI-Assisted Monitoring Systems Can Improve Driver Safety

Graham Perry

The statistics on trucking hazards are staggering. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), trucking is the deadliest occupation in the United States. Workers in the trucking industry accounted for 11% of all US worker deaths in 2017. Truckers also had the third highest rate of non-fatal injuries across all sectors of the US.

The facts are sobering, but there’s also plenty of good news. Today’s smart tools and technology have the potential to mitigate danger better than ever before. AI-assisted monitoring systems are one of the best approaches to keeping drivers safe on the road.

Let’s explore the benefits of AI-assisted monitoring systems and explain how they can reduce accidents.

Driver Behavior Analysis

Also known as driver behavior monitoring, this approach monitors both driver performance and overall driver attentiveness.

An in-cab camera pointed at the driver’s face tracks head position, eye gaze, and even pupil dilation for signs of fatigue. The system collects data so that managers can see which drivers need to improve their performance or receive extra safety coaching.

Fatigue Detection

Facial detection technology uses machine vision to identify subtle signs of fatigue on drivers’ faces. The tools flag indicators like excess yawning, closing eyes, and tilting or nodding heads.

Wearable sensors (like bracelets) can also track drivers’ breathing patterns, heart rate, and body temperature. Changes in these biometrics can give early warning signs that a driver is about to drift off.

Fatigue detection tools can be paired with alarms so that drivers are alerted whenever they’re about to fall asleep.

Distraction Monitoring

Facial detection technology can monitor for distraction, as well as fatigue. The tools monitor drivers’ head position and even track where their gaze is focused. If drivers take their eyes off the road, a good distraction monitoring system can issue an alert.

Compliance Tracking

AI-powered tools digitize and automate the compliance tracking process. Managers can replace their old paper-based records-keeping system and eliminate human error.

The best compliance tracking tools store all of your data in one central location so that managers can analyze data and see exactly where they need to improve safety measures. Compliance tracking tools can also issue reminders about renewal dates and can auto-complete tedious paperwork, leaving managers free to focus on other safety measures.

Telematics Integration

Telematics supplies managers with detailed information on how well drivers brake, accelerate, and change lanes. When you add a layer of AI, a good telematics system can analyze that data and create insights into driver behavior.

AI-powered fleet telematics can analyze individual drivers’ acceleration patterns, compliance with regulations, and braking patterns. These systems can pinpoint exactly where drivers need to improve so that managers can make safe decisions about staffing, scheduling, and training.

Predictive Analytics

AI excels at analyzing data and identifying patterns. Predictive analytics harnesses that capability and uses it for forecasting.

Predictive analytics can make realistic estimates about traffic conditions, activity levels, and average speed on roadways. The tool can help drivers choose safe roads to travel on and can warn them when they need to exercise more caution.

Final thoughts

The transportation industry is experiencing major labor shortages, which are expected to continue. Just as important, the industry is facing an expertise gap – older, experienced drivers are reaching retirement age, leaving younger drivers without the mentors they need.

AI-assisted technology can help fill the expertise gap. The tools discussed in this article can help drivers stay alert, identify their weaknesses, and make smart decisions about routes. These tools can also help managers make the best possible use of their time. The result? Safer drivers, reduced accidents, and a drop in service failures.

This blog was contributed directly to Workplace Fairness. It is published with permission.

About the Author: Graham Perry has worked in the logistics industry for over 25 years. He has worked with companies such as Werner Enterprises and Samsara, and he currently writes for businesstechinnovations.com He is an expert on fleet and transportation best safety practices.

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Madeline Messa

Madeline Messa is a 3L at Syracuse University College of Law. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism. With her legal research and writing for Workplace Fairness, she strives to equip people with the information they need to be their own best advocate.