New Technologies May Keep Sleepy Drivers out of Accidents
Although a recent survey showed that more than 95 percent of people feel it is unacceptable for drivers to continue driving when they are sleepy, almost 35 percent said they were guilty of committing this unsafe act this in the past 30 days. More than 100,000 accidents are linked to drowsy drivers each year. Vehicle manufacturers are looking for ways to reduce this number. Although it may not be as effective as regular quality sleep, technology may help lower the number of deaths and injuries caused by sleepy drivers.
This is a broad term that refers to many different features. One example is a departure warning, which is activated when a driver leaves his or her lane. There are features such as adaptive headlights that improve night visibility, which is something that many drivers lack. Forward warning technology may also help drowsy drivers. This type of system uses special sensors, radars, cameras or light detection ranging technology to identify vehicles in front of a car. Some of these systems also feature automatic braking. The technology used for forward warning is similar to the technology used for lane departure warnings.
Crash-Avoidance Technology Effectiveness
Since these systems are new, reliable evaluations are hard to find. Researchers say that they are still attempting to evaluate the effectiveness of these systems and determine whether they are making slight or significant improvements. However, the limited data provided so far seems to indicate that these technologies are certainly helpful. Researchers believe that if drivers had all of these safety features in their vehicles, drowsy driving accidents would be less likely to happen. For those who are interested in purchasing vehicles with these new safety technologies, the NHTSA offers helpful information on their official site. The NHTSA is a federal agency designed to help auto owners. This agency does not recommend specific systems. Instead, they offer system ratings as data becomes available.
What To Look For
Experts recommend looking for systems that do not need to be switched off or on. This makes it easier for drivers to check their systems each time they enter their vehicles. Drivers should find alarms that suit their preferences. People with sensitive ears prefer more gentle alarms, and people who have difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds should look for alarms with deeper tones. Buyers should also understand what their systems are capable of doing.
Some car dealers have reported that they do not keep as many vehicles with the special safety features in inventory. While the demand may be low for these vehicles now, it is expected to grow steadily as time passes and as more data becomes available for consumers to analyze. As technology continues advancing, drivers can expect to see even more changes in safety features. Some researchers are working on a special eye-tracking technology that would use special detection features to determine where drivers are looking and whether they are becoming tired. To learn more about safety features and auto insurance discounts, discuss these options with an agent.
-Lucas R. Zeiler