New Fatigue Warning Systems Offer Promise in Reducing Auto Accidents Involving Tired Drivers


January 31, 2011

We have previously written on this blog about the serious risk of auto accidents caused by driver fatigue and tiredness. This is a significant problem, which is estimated to play a role in approximately 16% of all fatal car accidents. Most accident safety experts believe these numbers vastly understate the problem because it is often difficult to determine if driver fatigue or sleepiness contributed to a fatal car accident. Fatigue and sleepiness adversely impact a number of critical driving skills including reaction time, reflexes, judgement and decision making.

It is estimated that sleepy drivers are responsible for over 5,500 car, truck and SUV fatalities per year in the U.S. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we are always happy to see new developments in technology that may help reduce auto accident rates and car accident fatalities. New advances in driver fatigue warning systems may eventually help reduce the serious danger of tired and fatigued drivers.

While some vehicles come equipped with lane departure systems, these are features that are typically only available in high priced luxury vehicles. These systems have variations in the way they work, but they generally provide a warning if the vehicle appears to be drifting out of its lane. These systems, combined with front-end impact avoidance systems, may eventually go a long way toward reducing serious auto accidents caused by sleepy drivers. Front-end impact avoidance systems typically employ automatic braking technology which involves the vehicle sensing an impending collision and applying the brakes to slow the vehicle without any driver input. Sensors to detect other vehicles or obstacles can include radar, video, infrared, ultrasonic or other technologies.

A company outside the U.S is developing another interesting driver fatigue warning system. The system compiles a large amount of data that pertains to risk factors associated with specific people who drive a vehicle. The system then analyzes that data and compares it to current conditions relevant to a particular driver’s tendency to be tired or fatigued. Based on this analysis, the system develops a specific program for each driver where it will intermittently sound an alarm and measure the response time of the driver. If a driver does not respond quickly enough, the system will alert the driver that the driver is too fatigued and should rest.

These emerging safety features may someday seriously reduce fatigue based accident rates. Unfortunately, these important safety features are not even an option in most new cars on the market. At Montlick and Associates, we believe preventing accidents and saving lives should be a high priority for auto manufacturers. We hope that these warning systems designed to prevent sleep and fatigue based car accidents become a standard feature on all new cars sooner rather than later. In the interim, Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, will continue to represent individuals and families throughout Georgia who suffer serious injury or wrongful death in car accidents with fatigued and tired drivers.

Our experienced Georgia fatigued driver auto accident attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24 hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

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