From seatbelts to anti lock brakes, and airbags to rear view cameras, engineers
have continued to develop new technologies to keep drivers safe. A number
of technologies have begun to enter the market with the hope of reducing
one of the riskiest driving habits: driving while drowsy.
Driving While Sleepy Has Deadly Consequences
Driving while drowsy significantly increases a driver’s risk of being
involved in an accident. Drowsiness can slow reaction time, decrease awareness,
and impair judgment in much the same way as driving under the effects
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as many as 5,000 to 6,000 vehicle accidents are caused every year
by sleepy drivers. Not surprising, those most likely to report driving
while sleepy are those who get an insufficient amount of sleep each night.
Emerging Technologies to Help Drivers Stay Awake
Several new technologies have emerged to help keep drivers’ attention
focused on the road.
Over the ear devices
- Some manufacturers have developed wearable products that warn when a
driver may be falling asleep. Anyone who has fallen asleep while sitting
(on the subway, during a lecture, etc.) knows that one of the first effects
of unconsciousness is a change in a person’s position. As someone
slips into sleep their head often bobs forward or to the side. Wearable
warning devices take advantage of this action. A driver may wear a device
over the ear that can detect the angle of the driver’s head. If
the driver’s head drops down below a certain angle–say thirty
degrees–an alarm may sound to wake up the driver.
Vehicle monitoring systems
- Some car makers have installed systems to monitor the behaviors of their
vehicles and send an alert when those behaviors indicate that a driver
has fallen asleep. For example, some vehicles come equipped with cameras
that detect lane markers. If a car starts to drift out of its lane an
alert sounds to wake up the driver. Such an alert may be an audible sound
or a text-message warning displayed on the vehicle’s navigation
system. Similar systems monitor the vehicle’s steering, accelerating,
and braking to determine when a driver does not seem to have active control
over the vehicle.
Facial recognition systems
- Some carmakers have developed systems for monitoring a driver as opposed
to monitoring the vehicle. These systems may include cameras that watch
a driver’s face for signs of fatigue. For example, a facial recognition
system may note when a driver is blinking more frequently (a sign of sleepiness)
Getting Help in Georgia When You’ve Been in an Accident
Although new technologies offer hope in reducing accidents, there will
always be some number of poor drivers on the road. If you or a loved one
has been injured in an automobile accident by the negligent driving of
another, it is essential that you contact a skilled Atlanta car accident
attorney right away. If you have questions about who may be at fault for
your injuries, how to deal with claims adjusters, or whether you may recover
for your damages, the personal injury attorneys at Goldstein and Hayes,
P.C., can answer your questions and assess your case. We have years of
experience helping personal injury victims navigate the Georgia legal
system to hold those responsible for their injuries accountable.
Contact us today.