This blog has discussed driver fitness/health before, more than once in fact. This is another post in that theme.
Transport Topics (ttnews.com) has a great article up about wearable tech and how they are currently used by truckers and what they hold for the future.
As a wearable tech user myself (I wear and use a FitBit device) I can see how wearable tech can help drivers monitor their own fitness and better track other tech-driven variables (routing, drive hours, etc.). And for company drivers, I can see how a company who is handing over a $100,000+ rig and entrusting that driver to keep that vehicle out of multi-million dollar lawsuits would want to monitor his or her fatigue and/or health indicators. And I think companies can invest in their drivers by helping them move towards a healthier lifestyle. Wearable tech could be a big part of how companies accomplished those goals.
On the other hand, and especially for owner-operators, if I was running my own rig I wouldn’t want my FitBit data to be tracked by the government.
But the flip-side of that argument deserves consideration as well. As truck drivers are piloting vehicles that can weigh up to 40 tons the consequences of a mistake are much greater than those of a 2-ton passenger vehicle. If someone is truly unfit to drive a vehicle; if their heart is ticking time-bomb, etc. should that person be allowed to drive? And if so, how can wearable tech help diagnose such issues and differentiate between healthy and unhealthy, fit or unfit drivers?
Thanks for reading.