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Pilot Project Aims to Provide Truckers with Rest Stops

Sunday, October 19, 2014

One of the biggest reasons why truckers continue to drive even while they're fatigued and too sleepy to drive is because they do not have access to a safe place to pull over and rest. If a driver does find a truck stop, he may not have a vacant parking spot at the stop. A new project that has been kick started in Minnesota aims to provide targeted information to drivers about available vacant parking spots in the truck stop coming up on their route.

The project has been kicked off by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, in collaboration with researchers at the University Of Minnesota. The project involves a system that provides truckers real-time information about vacant parking spots at trucking stops along their route. That gives truckers valuable input they will use to decide whether to drive on, or pull over at the parking area.

The system uses cameras that scan truck stops, and finds out how many vacant spots are there, relaying this information to the Department of Transportation website and also truckers. However, for the trucker to receive this information, his cab must be wired to receive those alerts. It's too early to tell whether the project will be successful in helping reduce sleepy driving, and the accuracy of the system will grow to 95%.

Fatigue driving by truck drivers is a contributor to trucking accidents in Burbank, and a serious transportation safety problem that affects not only the safety of the truck driver, but also other motorists on the highway. However, the fact is also that there are several reasons for fatigued driving, including violation of Hours of Service rules, long journeys, and too-long routes. Merely helping the truck driver locate a parking spot or a truck stop may not help, if the driver is being encouraged by the employer to violate Hours Of Service rules, and drive beyond the legally permissible hours.


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