Drowsiness is a state of impaired alertness as the body
tries to move
toward sleep. If this should happen while driving a car, the results
can be tragic. Most people have experienced drowsiness at some point,
and know what a struggle it can be to stay awake while driving. The
National Sleep Foundation estimates that about 6 million Americas
struggle with drowsiness while driving every week.
Researchers and safety experts argue that people should be responsible and not drive when they are drowsy,
but doing this is more difficult than it seems. Drowsiness impairs judgment, so that
a drowsy person may
be aware that they are tired, but unaware that this drowsiness can cause them to drive as bad as a drunk driver. A
person may feel tired but alert when they start driving, then after a few
minutes begin to feel drowsy.
Most frightening is the phenomenon of micro-sleeps. Micro-sleeps are
short periods of sleep, usually lasting 3 to 15 seconds. A drowsy
person struggling to stay awake can slip into these micro-sleeps without
ever realizing it. During a micro-sleep episode, the driver has their
eyes closed, and is unable to respond to any obstacle such as a curve in
the road or another vehicle. Needless to say, driving in this state for
even 3 seconds is extremely
Atigo, Inc. is working on a new technology to help prevent people
from falling asleep while driving. Our solution goes beyond current
technologies that try to detect drowsiness and alert the driver. Instead, we
change the way the driver interfaces with the vehicle so that the driver is
far less likely to feel drowsy. If you would like more information on how
this works, please contact us.
- In simulator based studies, severely fatigued drivers perform worse than drunk drivers.
- A driver can sleep for up to 8 seconds while driving without every realizing their eyes were closed.
- One of the most dangerous times to drive is between 2 and 4 in the afternoon.