“Top Fit” Truck Keeping Drivers Alert and Safe

Truck driverFor truckers, the workplace is also a bedroom and living room – all contained within a 120-inch sleeper cab. It’s true that today’s sleeper cabs focus much more on comfort than those of the past. Many are equipped with stereo speakers, a mini fridge, a pull out table and even a microwave oven! That being said, it is not uncommon for truckers to face various health concerns due to remaining immobile for many hours, poor nutrition and sleep deprivation. Nobody in these conditions should be driving, yet so many truckers do, which is why Mercedes-Benz has invented the TopFit Truck.

Stats on Truck Driver Safety

From 2008-2010, there were 329 deaths in the transportation and trucking industry, accounting for 11% of all workplace fatalities in Canada. A large majority of these deaths were the result of driver error – usually a result of driver fatigue and sleep deprivation. In other cases of driver error, crashes are due to complications with over the counter medication, or drivers speeding to try and make deliveries on time. Experts from automotive mechanics school recognize that speeding, while also dangerous, is counterproductive as it leads to greater fuel consumption and lost money.

Health Concerns for Drivers

Sitting in one place for too long is not good for anyone and believe it or not, truck drivers can spend up to 11 hours straight driving on the highway – much longer than the average workday for a graduated expert from auto mechanic college. This monotony can actually begin to take a physical and mental toll on the driver, putting strain on the muscles of the body and interfering with brain performance. Truck drivers are also susceptible to health concerns like dust mites, malnutrition due to poor food options, low activity levels and stress.

What is the TopFit Truck?

With so many issues pertaining to the health of drivers, it seems hard to imagine that such am effective quick fix could arrive in one package. Mercedes-Benz, a company well-known to those in auto mechanic training, has been a manufacturer of transport trucks for several decades now. The automobile company recently came out with the TopFit Truck, which they say has been designed to “focus on the human factor”.

Mental Therapy

The new vehicle has an efficient heating system in the mattress which also acts as a reliever for muscle strain and tension. The heat is also able to kill off dust mites which are often present in the sleeping areas of cabs. There is a fully electronic massage seat and an on-board system for releasing aromatherapy fragrances to calm the driver in stressful situations. An on-board computer has been programmed with specially selected music for vitalization or relaxation.

A Physical Boost

Inside the cab of the truck, the computer screen is programmed with physical activities and cable pulls which come from the ceiling to be used for exercise.  Integrated medical technology on the on-board computer can measure eye movement and brain electricity during sleep, in order to determine if a driver is receiving the correct amount of rest to safely drive.
What other health and well-being features should trucks include to improve driver safety?

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