Accidents caused by fatigued drivers claim thousands of lives each year around the country according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and public service campaigns that highlight the dangers of drowsy driving have done little to reduce this figure. Tired Louisiana motorists often try to avoid falling asleep behind the wheel by drinking coffee, opening a window or playing loud music, but these strategies rarely keep drivers awake and alert for long.
Drivers are often unaware that they are dangerously fatigued until it is too late to avoid a crash, but a startup technology company called Creative Mode says that they have developed a wearable electronic device that could rouse sleepy drivers and prevent accidents. The device, which has been named the Steer gauges fatigue by monitoring a driver's heart rate and sweat secretions, and it delivers a series of vibrations and electric shocks when tiredness sets in and reaction times suffer.
The device delivers a mild vibration to stimulate drivers when their heart rate falls by 10 beats per minute and their skin conductance drops by one unit from its baseline. However, the device resorts to a gentle electric shock when the vibration has no effect and the driver's pulse and skin conductance continue to drop. The makers of the device say that an electric shock not only rouses drowsy drivers, but it also helps them to remain alert by stimulating the release of cortisol, serotonin and other hormones.
Motorists who fall asleep at the wheel often lose their lives in the accidents they cause, and other victims may worry that this could make pursuing civil remedies impossible. When negligent drivers have been killed, experienced personal injury attorneys may seek compensation for occupants of other vehicles who have been harmed by initiating litigation against their estates.