With an increase of vehicle accidents due to drowsiness and nodding off, researchers for several car manufacturers have been working on new technology that detects when a driver is drowsy and helps them stay awake until they can pull over safely. According to theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 24 adults have admitted to falling asleep while driving in the month prior to the study. For small business owners, this includes a large percentage of their drivers that are risking not only their own lives but that of other people on the road if they are experiencing extreme drowsiness while driving. Even nodding off for a second could cause a major collision.
A variety of vehicle manufacturers are working on their own in-vehicle system for detecting drowsy drivers, based on their driving habits. This includes General Motors, Mercedes Benz, Volvo, Ford and others. They weren’t the first to try and develop a way to help drivers who are behind the wheel while overly tired, as many apps have been developed for this very purpose. But they weren’t as accurate as the in-vehicle technology being created.
Ford: Lane Keeping System, Driver Alert System
Drivers of new Ford models, like the 2013 Ford Fusion, will have the option of adding a drowsy-alert system called the Lane Keeping System. This system will alert drivers when they are showing signs of driving while drowsy and help them avoid veering off into other lanes. Ford also has the Driver Alert System, which monitors the vehicle’s movements based on a camera tracker on their windshield. It will send sound warnings to the driver to help them stay alert.
Mercedes: Attention Assist
A variety of Mercedes models will have a piece of technology called Attention Assist. This will also detect the driver’s habits and style from the start of their trip in comparison to the rest of their trip. It records their first few minutes of driving while the driver is most alert and looks for comparisons throughout their trip. If you have a delivery driver who has been on the road for more than eight hours and they begin getting drowsy, Attention Assist alerts them. This is available in the S-Class, M-Class, E-Class, C-Class, CL-Class, CLS-Class, SLS AMG and SLK-Class Mercedes vehicles.
Additional Technology to Avoid Crashes
There are also other forms of technology being developed for vehicles to help drivers become aware of their drowsiness and avoid potential accidents. This includes emergency brake assistance, detecting blind spots, lane departure warnings and forward collision warnings. These are all accompanying the monitoring technology that looks at how a driver is operating their vehicle throughout the trip.
Tips For Finding the Right System
Since there are so many different types of crash avoidance systems for drowsy drivers, there are some factors to consider when choosing the right one. The first thing to look for is a system that never has to be turned on or off and is in use as soon as the vehicle is started. It is far too common for a driver to neglect to turn the system on, or fail to turn it off and drain their battery when they have finished driving. Another thing to look for is a gentle and clear alert system that does not shock the driver. If it sounds like a siren or something incredibly loud, it could cause them to move much too quickly and get into an accident because of the shock factor.
This advanced technology can greatly benefit your business and employees who are on the road a lot of the time. Whether they are drowsy because of long hours or starting their day early in the morning, this technology can help avoid serious or fatal collisions. It is also important to have proper insurance protection, particularly commercial auto insurance, to help mitigate the risks.