Drowsy driving is dangerous. Falling asleep at the wheel can cause a catastrophic accident. This is not a novel concept. Yet, in this age of technological innovations, it appears the number of accidents that result from drivers falling asleep at the wheel is rising.
Or is it?
Is it possible that the data gathered for previous studies was wrong – that researchers have grossly underestimated the problem with drowsy driving? The fact that it is difficult to determine if exhaustion played a role in an accident has made it difficult to gather accurate data. Advances in tech may help provide some clarity.
How can tech help to determine an accurate estimate on drowsy driving? A piece in The New York Times touched on the issue, noting a number of advances could help to get more precise data. Car manufacturers are now able to add sensors to the driver’s seat. These sensors can monitor the driver’s heart rate and posture as well as head and eye movements. The vehicle could gather this information, plug it into an algorithm and determine if the driver is getting too sleepy to operate the vehicle in a safe manner.
If the data indicates sleepiness, the car could make changes to the temperature of the cabin and warn the driver in an attempt to regain the driver’s attention. With the advances made in autonomous driving, car manufacturers aim to have autonomous programs take over once the car indicates the driver is drowsy.
What can reduce the risk of drowsy driving accidents? With over twenty percent of fatal car crashes attributed to a sleep driver, drowsy driving is clearly a problem. In fact, Slate lists drowsy driving as one of the top six causes of car accidents in recent years.
The easiest way to avoid these disasters: know the signs. If you didn’t get enough sleep, don’t drive. If you are tired, pull over.
What about victims of drowsy driving accidents? Unfortunately, not everyone takes proactive measures to reduce the risk of an accident. This can result in increased liability if an accident results in injuries to others.
Those who are injured can hold the responsible party accountable for the costs that result from the accident through a personal injury lawsuit. This can lead to compensation for medical bills, property damage and the like. Contact an attorney to discuss your options.