Driver fatigue is one of the more common causes of large truck crashes. There is no test for fatigue, but when we dig back into the driver’s itinerary it can be deduced.
Every few months we see another technological approach to dealing with driver fatigue. The latest is an app for Apple iPhones and iPads. The company selling the Anti Sleep Pilot App constantly calculates fatigue level, maintains a driver’s alertness, and alarms the driver when it’s time to take a preventative driving break.
Here’s what the company claims:
The app is easily configured; users get started by creating a baseline profile the first time they use the app by completing a short risk assessment test. Factors include age, sex, number of hours worked per week, etc.; a total of 12 questions are evaluated to create a personal risk profile. Before each drive, the app helps the driver determine his or her current fatigue status. During the drive, the app automatically calculates the drivers fatigue level by combining information from the risk profile, his or her status before the trip, and drive data such as time of day and cumulative drive time, which is automatically registered by the iPhone or iPad.
The progression of the user’s fatigue level is displayed on the iPhone screen and a series of light and sound tests are used to break the monotony of driving and maintain the driver’s alertness by engaging in touch taps on the iPhone or iPad screen. The Anti Sleep Pilot App records the reaction time, which is also used as one of the 26 input factors in the calculation of the driver’s fatigue level. Ultimately the app sounds an alarm, alerting the driver to take a preventive rest break when they are about to reach a critical driving-fatigue level, offering the potential to prevent accidents and save thousands of lives each year.
The Anti Sleep Pilot App has a graphical driver fatigue dashboard that displays driving distance, average driving speed, and the progression of the driver’s fatigue level. The application is also integrated with Google Maps, which continuously gives the drivers an overview of their driving range before their next break.
I haven’t tested it, but for $20, iPhone and iPad users who spend long hours behind the wheel may want to give it a shot.
Ken Shigley is an Atlanta, Georgia, trial attorney. He has been designated a “Super Lawyer” (Atlanta Magazine), one of the “Legal Elite” (Georgia Trend), and rated “AV Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory. He is author of Georgia Law of Torts: Trial Preparation & Practice (West, 2010), a Certified Civil Trial Attorney of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, and currently president-elect of the 42,000 member State Bar of Georgia. He has extensive experience in litigation and trial of cases involving serious personal injury, wrongful death, trucking accidents, automobile accidents, products liability, premises liability, and insurance. Mr. Shigley is a graduate of Furman University and Emory University Law School. This blog post is subject to our ethical disclaimer.