According to the NHTSA, more than 100,000 auto accidents in 2002 were caused by drowsy driving and fatigue. While speeding is still the leading cause of all auto accidents in the United States, the number of car accidents caused by drowsy driving is increasing each year as more and more Americans are working longer hours and sleeping fewer hours (aka: Sleep Deprivation) which results in more car accidents. In the past several years, many automakers and safety experts, such as Denso Corporation and IBM have been developing new technology to help detect drowsy and fatigued drivers and implement tools to keep them alert.
The Federal Government has already imposed several passive physical warning signals to drivers in an effort to reduce the number of fatigue and drowsy related auto accidents, including the raised lines on the edges of the roadway and the “Botts Dots” system in between lanes as a last-chance effort to alert drivers that their vehicles are veering off the roadway.
The Federal Highway Administration reports that these particular measures have proven to reduce the number of auto accidents by approximately 20-50 percent. However, these low-technology measures have seemed to reach a peak in auto accident prevention, giving many automakers the green light to develop high tech measures of reducing the number of fatigue and drowsy related auto accidents in the future.
Denso of North America, the American Branch of the Japanese auto technology corporation, is in the process of developing a high-tech sensor tracking system that detects the roadway in front of the vehicle and anticipates traffic conditions. The system also includes infrared technology to monitor the facial expressions, eye-blinking and facials muscles in the driver’s face to detect signs of drowsiness and fatigue. The Denso Corporation recently revealed an air-puffing, wheel-vibrating system of fatigue prevention technology at the Detroit auto show, and is in the works to reveal its other technological advances in the upcoming years.
Currently, much of the technology being developed to prevent drowsy driving related auto accidents, including infrared technology and extensive stability control, is more expensive than most passenger motor vehicles currently on the market. However, many experts are advocating that the technology first be installed and perfected in the commercial trucking market, where the cost may be more justified, to prevent commercial truck accidents.
Our auto accident attorneys encourage all drivers to use caution when getting behind the wheel. Drowsy driving and driving while fatigued can lead to serious auto accidents.
Please contact us for a Free Consultation with an experienced car accident attorney at (800) 655-6585 or click here to submit your case for a Free Review.