Falling asleep at the wheel is not only a scary thought, it is also one that is quite dangerous. It is also an occurrence that happens more than you think, as the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a 2014 survey, where investigators reviewed car accidents that happened between 2009 to 2013; revealing that one in five fatal vehicle accidents happen at the hands of a drowsy driver.
As such, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently launched a campaign to deal with the issue, where specific states within America are exploring legal options to deal with this problem. Police in both New Jersey and Arkansas can now arrest individuals who have been erratically driving, if those individuals admit to being up for at least 24 hours.
There are also ‘stay-awake’ inventions currently being launched, including a device for the ears, which sounds off, should a person’s head nod forward. In a world where there’s an app for everything, there are also apps for your smartphone that can blurt out an alarm, randomly. Still, do these devises really offer a concrete solution?
In the world of automotive, there are vehicles that can now detect drowsiness through driving patterns like lane drifting. But is there actually anything that these technologically-advanced cars can do if they think their drivers are sleeping, or might be getting drowsy? The Mercedes CLA-Class cars will pop up a coffee cup icon, along with a sound alert. In turn, the Volvo XC90’s navigation system will direct the driver to the closest rest area.
Still, Nathaniel Watson, M.D., president, American Academy of Sleep Medicine might have the best advice for drowsy drivers: simply don’t take the wheel of a car if you are tired, or ask someone else to drive.
MSN reports that should you be on your own, pull over to a safe area, try to rest or take a nap. You could also try and wake up through coffee, however, it takes about 15 minutes to an hour for the caffeine to really hit you, so it’s important to keep that in mind.