Stop Falling Asleep While Driving
12 Aug 2017
It would be nice if there was a technology that could sense when you were falling asleep while you’re driving and woke you up before anything happened. Our friends at www.reedmantollnissanofdrexelhill.com — based out of Drexel Hill, PA — think so. Throughout the years, several companies have sold devices that can help a driver stay awake while operating a vehicle.
There have been devices that the driver wears to sound an alarm when their head droops down. The devices usually fit behind the driver’s ear like a hearing aid. The issue is that few people like to wear them as they feel they aren’t super tired.
Falling Asleep While Driving
There are many apps designed to keep drowsy drivers awake. Some of the names are AntiDrowse, DriverAlarm, StayAwakePro, StayAwakeWhileDriving, CoffeeWake, and DriveAwake. The apps work in a number of ways, in any from a timer to GPS recognition but all exist to keep drivers awake.
There is a company has a solution to the problem that shows promise: Harken. Harken is a technology consortium that has created a number of super innovative technologies. In particular, they’ve been working on a sleep monitoring unit that makes use of “smart textiles” (textiles with conductive properties) and a computer that monitors a vehicle operator’s breathing and heart rates. If it appears that the driver is nodding off, a wake up alarm goes off.
How accurate is the Harken technology? “The rhythm of heart beats, specifically heart rate and heart rate variability, are good indicators of concentration and wakefulness,” states a Harken researcher. Basically, by measuring these kinds of parameters, Harken engineers developed an algorithm that senses when a driver is getting drowsy. Press releases from Harkin say that the system has been tested on a small-scale with excellent results and is moving into real world testing.
If this technology works as well as it is expected to, then Harkin would likely license it to automobile manufacturers all around the world. Assuming that the costs are reasonable, it would be surprising if any car maker wouldn’t show interest. A device like this is a safety feature that is as effective as any other and would be a great selling point.
Although the above-named technology features could be useful, there are other, old-fashioned methods of staying awake. These may include chewing gum or hard candy, or putting on the radio.
To finish things off, we will list some statistics: According to a recent National Sleep Foundation in America poll, 61% of adult drivers – about 168 million of them – say that they’ve driven their car when they were extremely tired. In fact, 36% – around 103 million people – say this happens more than once per month. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 105,000 reported accidents are the result of driver fatigue each year. This results in an estimated $12.7 billion in monetary losses, 71,200 injuries and 1,555 deaths.We all hope this is changed through the new staying-awake technologies!