Driving a car when you are tired can pose a serious threat to yourself and to others you are sharing the road with.
Drowsy drivers have a slow reaction time and find it difficult to focus on their surroundings. In 2013, 72,000 car accidents were caused by drowsy driving, injuring 44,000 people and killing 800. However, it is believed that the numbers are underreported and the number of fatalities could be much higher. Unlike the case of drunk driving, there is no way to figure out if a person is too tired to drive. To combat this problem, companies are now looking towards technology for a solution.
Technology to Prevent Drowsy Driving
State Farm Insurance is working on wearable technology to prevent distracted and drowsy driving. They have recently patented a wearable device that is designed to alert motorists who exhibit behavior of being tired or distracted. The alerts can be sent through smart watches, wireless headsets, or even clothes that have microprocessors fitted inside them. The device uses optic sensors to monitor a driver’s activities, such as how long the driver has been blinking and if his or her head nods.
Monitoring Driver Behaviours
This particular device could also be used as an alcohol sensor, thermal image capture device, or a heart rate monitor to measure whether the driver is sick, drunk, or unable to drive safely. The device could also keep a check on how often the motorist checks a mirror, as checking the mirrors too frequently could be a sign of distracted driving. It could also monitor behaviors and patterns and then suggest to the driver to have a caffeinated drink if they are drowsy and still have to drive.
The idea of using technology to keep drowsy or distracted drivers off the road certainly seems to be a great one; however, there are some valid criticisms as well. Many experts believe that it might not be as successful, because some drivers may not be willing to use a device to monitor their behavior just to get lower insurance rates. The technology may be of use to commercial drivers and fleet managers. Ultimately, the responsibility of safe driving lies with each driver and we cannot depend entirely on technology to eliminate risky behavior.
St. Louis Auto Accident Attorney
If you or someone close to you has been injured by a drowsy or distracted driver, seek legal help from a St. Louis automobile accident attorney. Call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242 for a free consultation.