Special biometric vests normally used by elite athletes have been earmarked for a Griffith University study to monitor how fatigue can impact the driving behaviour of truckies.

Dr Caroline Robertson

Dr Caroline Robertson

School of Medicine and Dentistry Dr Caroline Robertson said the project has received nearly $200,000 in federal government funding to conduct a research trial.

“So far, 40 drivers from Bingo Industries and Toll Group are wearing the Hexoskin biometric vests for a total of six days — five of those are while driving and one of those is a day off,” Dr Robertson said.

“The vests will measure heart rate and breathing responses giving us an indication of how stressed or tired they are.

“We then overlay this data with other psychological and in-vehicle data, to form a picture of what is happening when a driver is fatigued.

“In vehicle data will look at markers such as lane positioning, distance from other vehicles and steering wheel angle.”

Truck driver being fitted with a biometric vest

Truck driver being fitted with a biometric vest

The research is the first to tackle psychological, physiological and in-vehicle data monitoring predictors of fatigue in professional drivers.

Griffith University identified a need to research all three factors simultaneously as they all independently contribute to fatigue behind the wheel.

Dr Robertson said once the data has been compiled and analysed it will be used to inform companies of which factors contribute most to fatigue.

“We want people to be informed and know what to look for before they even get behind the wheel of a truck so potentially fatal incidents can be prevented.”

Griffith University is hoping 250 drivers will take part in the study. For more information please contact Dr Caroline Robertson at [email protected].

3: Good Health and Well-being
UN Sustainable Development Goals 3: Good Health and Well-being