Each year, thousands of deaths and countless injuries are caused by distracted drivers in the U.S. alone. It’s thought that the real number of distraction-related deaths could be much higher, as it’s often difficult for accident investigators to assess the degree to which distraction played a role in any given crash. Despite legislation aimed at curbing distracted driving, it’s clearly still a major problem that can spread beyond the nation’s highways and into work sites, including surface mining operations. In fact, it has been estimated that 65% of open pit accidents are related to fatigue and distraction.
Drivers defying the risks
Legislation that bans cellphone use while driving is nothing new. Unfortunately, despite knowing the risks, drivers still continue to engage in risky behaviors while behind the wheel. According to a 2017 Consumer Reports survey, 41% of drivers admitted to texting while driving. This disturbing trend explains why at least 3,450 people were killed in distracted driving accidents during 2016 alone.
The real cost of driver distraction
The statistics on deaths caused by distracted driving accidents are alarming. However, it’s important to look beyond the statistics to assess the actual human toll. Every life lost to distracted driving accidents represents someone’s parent, child, sister, or brother. Accidents do not discriminate; they can happen to anyone. It only takes a split second for an accident to occur, which is why it’s imperative for drivers to remain alert at all times. There is also a real cost exacted from the distracted drivers themselves. One bad decision can lead to a manslaughter charge, which can result in time in prison, job loss, and a criminal record.
OAS prevents driver distraction
HxGN MineProtect Operator Alertness System (OAS) is Hexagon’s fatigue and distraction monitoring technology. This non-intrusive system for heavy and light vehicles (OAS-HV and OAS-LV) continuously scans operators for key metrics such as eyelid closure, facial movements, cellphone use, and other distracting, risky behaviors. When unsafe behaviors are detected, OAS instantly alerts the operator with audible and tactile alarms. With an extensive range of detection points, OAS is the reliable solution employers need to ensure safe driving behaviors. Plus, it’s fully integrated with the site’s Wi-Fi or the cellular wireless network.
To discuss incorporating OAS into your site’s safety protocols, check out our page for light vehicle or heavy vehicle. Hexagon looks forward to partnering with your company to improve the safety of your site.