Drivewyze, the North American leader in connected truck services and the largest public-private weigh station bypass network operator, has announced that the Arkansas Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Arkansas Trucking Association (ATA) have collaborated to provide free in-cab safety alerts for commercial truck drivers traveling on Arkansas interstates and freeways. These proactive safety alerts, which give drivers heads up notifications of unexpected traffic congestion and other safety hazards, are provided free of charge to commercial carriers thanks to the Arkansas DOT, Arkansas Highway Police, with the support of the ATA, and delivered via the Drivewyze connected truck network.

Through Drivewyze’s Smart Roadways service, which helps state agencies extend the reach of their safety messaging programs right into the cabs of commercial trucks, more than 800 miles of roadways in Arkansas are monitored for real-time traffic activity. In addition to real-time alerts, Arkansas is providing drivers with virtual sign messaging which can help drivers prepare for special traffic conditions or be advised of alternative routes.

Arkansas is the 10th state to offer these alerts, which provide visual in-cab messages such as “sudden slowdown ahead” along with an audible chime. The alerts are configured to allow ample time for trucks to slow down or stop, as necessary. The program is provided for free to drivers and fleets as part of the Drivewyze Free safety service, which runs on most ELDs, telematics devices, smartphones, and tablets.

Arkansas provides a major corridor connecting California and North Carolina, with I-40 handling most of the traffic. Between Little Rock and Memphis, it’s estimated that more than 60% of the traffic consists of 18-wheelers. The state is also home to some of the largest trucking companies in the United States.

“With so much truck traffic in our state, we wanted to find a way to inform truckers traveling on major roadways of sudden slowdowns,” said Joe Hawkins, State Intelligent Transportation Systems Engineer from Arkansas DOT. “It’s clear that if a truck driver knows of an upcoming sudden slowdown before he or she sees brake lights, accidents can be avoided. It takes a lot of time for a truck to slowdown, and the extra time afforded by these alerts can make all the difference in preventing a crash.”

Strategic virtual signs in trucks also help drivers prepare for unexpected events on roadways. “Recently, we provided alerts on the solar eclipse, giving truckers a heads up that normal traffic patterns would be impacted due to increased traffic in our state for those coming to view the eclipse,” said Monica Saffle of ARDOT’s Traffic Management Center. “It’s just another innovative way we can help truckers.”

“We’re thrilled that the Arkansas DOT and its highway police division have come on board to invest in safety with in-vehicle alerts designed especially for truckers,” said Brian Heath, CEO of Drivewyze. “The state has a great partnership with the Arkansas Trucking Association, and it was gratifying to see the collaboration the two organizations have and are building on with the rollout and support for this new safety program. With so many trucks residing and passing through the state, we know we can move the needle on highway safety.”

“The interstates of Arkansas are a prominent workplace for the men and women in the trucking industry. Anything we can do to make the roadways safer for them and the motoring public is a win for everyone,” said Arkansas Trucking Association President Shannon Newton. “We know that our carriers invest heavily in safety. Connected truck technology can amplify this by providing critical safety information to an exponential number of drivers when and where they need it most.”

The alerts are available free of charge through a recently introduced service called Drivewyze Free. This allows fleets and drivers -- using telematics devices, smartphones, or tablets -- to receive an essential set of in-cab safety alerts and advisories in advance of potentially risky areas on the roadway. Drivewyze Free includes access to agency-sponsored real-time traffic slowdown alerts and other alerts and advisories generated in partnership with select state transportation and enforcement agencies. Drivewyze’s unique one-to-many application has the largest reach of any independent software application in trucking history and is available to anyone in the industry without any requirements for paid subscription services. In addition, core message sets include Drivewyze sponsored alerts and advisories for High-Rollover risk areas, Low Bridges, and Mountain alerts (steep grade ahead; chain-up/brake check stations; and runaway ramps).