Every piece of technology we use is getting smarter by the day. We’ve got Internet-capable TVs and fridges. Sensors embedded in engines and machines. ‘Smart’ glasses that allow us to do everything from take pictures to find a destination.
Twenty years ago, all of this would have been unthinkable. Yet today, we almost take it for granted. And our technology isn’t just getting smarter, either – it’s getting safer.
At least, that’s the story in the transport industry. The idea is that by equipping its vehicles with IoT-enabled sensor technology, the long-haul trucking industry can ensure greater overall efficiency, better tracking both its drivers and vehicles. By better tracking its drivers and vehicles, it can make the roads that much safer for civilians.
Some have even gone so far as to suggest technology to monitor a driver’s vital signs, simply replacing drivers altogether.
These advances are certainly a step in the right direction. They will force truckers and trucking firms alike to be more accountable, and greater visibility will ensure greater efficiency and lower costs. At the same time, it would be foolish to assume that this measure alone is all that’s necessary to make the transport industry safe.
For one, the knowledge that they’re always being watched and held accountable could easily serve to make drivers more stressed, and thus more prone to mistakes.
“Electronic logs do NOT make a safer driver,” writes Doctor Brian Kelley, in a public comment quoted by Safety + Health Magazine. “In fact, I’d say it makes a more stressed and tired driver. If a driver knows that someone is always able to see exactly every move he or she makes, that said [driver] would have added stress.”
The issue again hearkens back to the nickel-and-dime nature of many trucking organizations. Forced to contend with an industry in which every day is often a struggle to stay afloat, trucking firms might well use electronic logging and tracking as a means of harassing their drivers, forcing them to remain behind the wheel for longer than they otherwise might.
In short, until we address the cultural problem in the trucking industry, measures like this – though impressive – are ultimately a band-aid fix for the real issue. And that means that people will continue being injured by fatigued truckers with faulty equipment.
If you ever find yourself or a loved one among such injured parties, Bormaster Law can help. We have a long history of tackling corruption in the transport industry, and we’ll ensure that the people responsible for your pain don’t get away with it. Contact us today for a free consultation.