Trucker Hats Are Now More Than Just Fashionable, They Could Save Your Life

The ever-popular trucker hat is great for a lot of reasons: it keeps the sun out of your eyes, the mesh lets your head stay cool, and the sweet style is irresistible to everyone. But until now, trucker hats haven’t really done a whole lot to actually protect your life. Luckily, we live in the future, and Ford’s Brazilian creative agency has developed a trucker hat that may do just that.

While it may look like an ordinary baseball cap, SafeCap is really a piece of wearable technology that keeps drivers from falling asleep at the wheel. (📷: Ford / Fast Company)

SafeCap, which is currently just a prototype, is a smart trucker hat that can detect when drivers are falling asleep at the wheel. It uses sensors to monitor the wearer’s head movement, and attempts to discern when that movement corresponds to a driver nodding off. During testing, they determined what constitutes normal head movement for a driver, and what movement indicates a potentially dangerous situation.

If the SafeCap determines that the driver is falling asleep, it will try to wake them back up. Using lights, sounds, and vibrations, it will do its best to essentially startle the driver awake, giving them time to safely pull over for a nap. It’s just a one-off prototype for now, so technical details are light, but SafeCap does seem like a good idea.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that 21 percent of fatal car accidents in the US involve fatigued or drowsy drivers. On average, 328,000 accidents will occur every year where fatigue was a contributing factor. While many new vehicles have active safety features to counteract that, the SafeCap has a lot of potential for drivers of older vehicles.