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Noland Law Firm, LLC Legal Blog

Friday, August 14, 2015

A smart steering wheel could save your life

On behalf of Noland Law Firm, LLC posted in car accidents on Friday, August 14, 2015.

We love our tech. From smart TVs to smart phones, Americans love their gadgets. Sometimes, as is the case with smartphones, that technology can be a double-edged sword, both making our life easier and more convenient, but also making it more dangerous, by leading to distracted driving.

We also love to drive, and whether you are just driving across the Kansas City metro area on an errand or heading down to the Ozarks for the weekend, there is always a risk of a car accident. And one type of risk that is often overlooked is drowsy driving, when a driver falls asleep while driving.

These accidents are not always obvious and may appear similar to other types of distracted driving crashes. A car may run off the road, veer into oncoming traffic or run into the rear end of other vehicles on the interstate or crash at a stop sign.

However, it is a significant problem, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that as many as 5,000 to 6,000 fatal crashes may be caused each year by drowsy drivers.

With our always-connected world, obtaining adequate rest is difficult, and it can be all too easy to drive to or from work or school with your eyelids drooping. But what if your car could determine that you were sleepy and warn you?

A German company has developed a sensor that could be incorporated into steering wheels, which would detect when a driver is potentially falling asleep. The sensor can measure pressure, sensitivity and position of a driver's hands. It could alert the driver that they are too tired to continue, and they could then pull off the road to rest.

Because drowsiness affects your ability to recognize your degree of impairment, you are not a good judge of your ability to drive when you are sleepy. Technology like this could help prevent these types of accidents and save thousands of lives every year.

Source: electronicweekly.com, "Smart steering wheel could wake drowsy drivers," Alun Williams, July 30, 2015

 



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