Highway Accidents And Sleep Deprived Drivers

We’re getting closer to the Memorial Day and Labor Day, which means extra leisure and extra fun. The news, however, doesn’t agree with the word “fun” since it’s always delivered with death tolls, and only about highway accidents. According to most experts, the increased traffic volume during three day weekends and holiday seasons isn’t the only reason for the highway accidents. The increased number of incidents is actually caused by the driver’s fatigue.

Even if it means risking lives, a driver behind the wheel would try to push the limits and test his own endurance, as if it is a game. The real solution, however, is just to get some rest. Very soon this can qualify to an addition to the national sleep deficit, which is quite expected due to America’s 24 hour, work hard, play hard culture. Although a scientific failsafe method hasn’t been devised yet, some scientists have come up with an idea of putting an alarm clock and making it detect the fatigue level of the driver using Biomechanics. To keep learning about online education be sure to check out Cert 4 in OHS.

One of the leading threats on the roads is driver fatigue. And that is for certain. 100,000 crashes every year are recorded.71,000 of those were injuries, while 1,500 are unlucky to suffer to fatalities. These are the estimates of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Yearly up to $12.5 billion dollar is wasted in property repairs, or the amount lost from productivity due to interruption of business. Others consider these estimates to be conservative, asserting that driver fatigue plays a significant role in the nearly 1,000,000 annual crashes that are generally attributed to driver inattention.

An MO, professor of psychology at Washington University in St.Louis, and one of the leading authorities in the field of eye blinks and driving safety was consulted about this. He said that people are already long prone to accidents even before they actually fall asleep behind the wheels. For more than a decade, he and others have explored physiological characteristics associated with fatigue and the onset of sleep in the hope that a gadget could be devised to recognize the telltale signs of driver fatigue and issue a life saving warning. Truckers are the ones who need this gadget the most, so they concentrated on the trucking industry. For every vehicle, the gadget will cost up to several thousand dollars, but this price will soon drop as the devices become available for passenger cars.

What sort of driver’s fatigue signs will these gadgets be able to recognize? The gadgets will detect predictors such as long blinks and eye closure intervals, as these are the perfect indicators for telling the behavioral patterns of a tired and sleep driver. Alerting systems that detect late stage sleep onset will be of marginal use because danger arises much sooner as alertness fades and driver ability diminishes. At certificate IV occupational health safety you’ll find more expert resources on online education.

Since the onset of sleep is hard to recover from, the alarm systems would need to detect early signs of fatigue. The research is focused on determining the various irregularities in eye movements, which could hint on the early transition to sleep. This will help a lot in detecting short mental lapses. If these mental lapses can be identified and predicted, they may prove much more useful in providing timely advance warning to a driver edging toward drowsiness.

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