With the very busy lives people often live, many Kentucky motorists have found themselves driving when they are too tired. Drowsy driving, as the phenomenon is called, is more than simply an inconvenience. It can be very dangerous and even fatal. A new device is seeking to help prevent accidents caused by people nodding off at the wheel.
The device, which is still in the pre-production stage, is a wrist-band that produces vibrations and gentle shocks if the device detects that the driver is dozing off. The makers of the device feel that it is particularly helpful when driving long distances, when many people doze off as they drive and might be involved in car accidents.
The way the device works is by using sensors to detect heart beat and sweat secretion, reading when a person begins to fall asleep at the wheel. When a person first wears the wristband, the device records the person's heart rate and the skin's conductance level. If the wristband senses that the wearer's heart rate has dropped by 10 beats per minute and the conductance level has dropped by one from the baseline reading, the wristband vibrates. If the heart rate falls three beats more and the conductance level drops by another unit, then the wristband produces a gentle electric shock that should stimulate hormones such as cortisone and serotonin to help wake the driver.
Drowsy driving has been a factor in many car accidents. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that it is the cause of up to 6,000 fatal accidents each year. People who have been harmed in this manner might want to have a lawyer's help in seeking compensation for the losses they have incurred.