The Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) has become increasingly interested in new lane departure warning technologies (LDWS), writes Today’s Trucking Online, and government tests of these technologies have produced some encouraging results. The Department of Transport’s Intelligent Vehicle Initiative Program performed some recent field tests on a fleet of Mack trucks and found that incidents in which the car veered off-road declined by about 21 to 24 percent. The tests also predicted a 17 to 21 percent reduction in the amount of rollover crashes. LDWS are in-vehicle devices that warn a driver when he or she has drifted outside of the lane. They use optical, electromagnetic, or GPS technology to monitor the lane boundaries, and if they sense a lane drift, they can sound an alarm or mimic a “rumble strip” vibration, reports the Today’s Trucking Online. Some trucking companies have already implemented LDWS into their fleet. Dean Newell, the safety vice-president of Maverick Transportation, says that he first installed LDWS on five of his trucks a few years ago, and now has 1,200 trucks fitted with the technology. The FMCSA says it will now take an even closer look at LDWS, comparing their effectiveness to other technologies, performing more rigorous evaluations, and computing total costs for implementation.
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