Drowsy driving is every bit as dangerous as drunk driving, and yet too little attention has been paid to the former.
Just last week, we told you that driver fatigue was revealed as the likely cause of comedian Tracy Morgan’s devastating truck accident in 2014. The at-fault driver had been awake for more 28 hours at the time of the crash, according to a federal investigation.
Now, CNN is tackling the problem with a thorough look at the causes and possible solutions.
Characteristics of a Dangerously Drowsy Driver
According to CNN, you are more likely to be involved in a drowsy driving accident if any of the following apply to you:
- You typically sleep for six hours or less each night
- You’re a snorer
- You often unintentionally doze off during the day
- You’re driving late at night, especially on interstates or other high-speed roads
CNN also notes that the problem is probably worse than studies show, as police officers may fail to detect or document instances of driver fatigue. After all, there is no equivalent to the blood alcohol test for detecting sleepiness.
Technological Solutions for Drowsy Driving
There is good news on the horizon, however. CNN points to the following emerging trends in automotive technology as causes for optimism:
- Forward Collision Warning Systems, which alert drivers to objects in their paths
- Lane departure warning systems
- Road departure warning systems
- Monitoring systems that sound alarms to wake a driver if he or she suddenly stops turning the wheel-less often
- Bluetooth headsets that reacting to nodding heads
- Smartphone apps designed to keep drivers attentive and awake