Technology influences on fatigue-related accidents

The latest gadgets can be the sources of problems on the roads as Washington motorists deal with the issue of distracted driving. However, many entrepreneurs are considering ways to positively impact drivers as they work on technological solutions that could minimize the risk of accidents resulting from fatigued driving. Warning systems are in the works to identify dangers while alerting drivers.

Fatigue may have been a serious factor in the 2014 accident that injured Tracy Morgan. The comedian’s limousine was struck by a commercial vehicle that entered a construction zone without slowing. Although there are no objective tests that identify levels of fatigue, it is likely that the responsible driver in this incident was tired due to a lack of sleep over the preceding 28-hour period. Truck injuries can be deadly due to the difference in size between a semi and other vehicles. At least one of every four fatal motor vehicle accidents are related to driver fatigue, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Drivers are more likely to doze off while driving if they sleep for a limited time at night. Snoring can also indicate a risk of fatigued driving. Most fatigue-related accidents occur on high-speed roadways, and these incidents more commonly occur at night. Alert systems are being developed to warn drivers of impending forward collisions, lane changes, and road departure. Earpieces have been designed to track the head motions of drivers, allowing them to be alerted if their heads nod. Additional technology is being designed to track body movements and blinking patterns.

Innovative technologies are helpful for those who must make long trips at night. However, a responsible driver should also take time to rest sufficiently if they are too tired to drive. Taking a chance on making it to one’s destination when tired could lead to significant legal and financial exposure if an accident occurs.