According to federal statistics, approximately 20 percent of car accidents in Pennsylvania and across the U.S. are caused by drowsy driving. In order to raise awareness about the issue, Ford Motor Co. invited young drivers to try a “Sleep Suit” that simulates the impact of sleep deprivation on the brain.
Lack of sleep can negatively impact a person’s mood and his or her ability to concentrate. Unfortunately, it can also make a driver incapable of safely operating a vehicle. For example, research shows that staying awake for 18 straight hours can impair a driver just as much as exceeding the legal drinking and driving limit in many countries. To help young motorists understand the dangers of drowsy driving, Ford let a group of young people use a “Sleep Suit” on World Sleep Day, which fell on March 15.
The “Sleep Suit”, which was created by the Meyer??’Hentschel Institute, lets drivers use special goggles that replicate the behaviors of a sleep-deprived brain that is experiencing microsleeps, which are uncontrollable periods of sleep. The goggles are controlled by a smartphone app that blacks out a driver’s vision for increasing lengths of time, beginning with half a second and building up to 10 seconds. Drivers also wear a specialized cap, vest and arm and ankle bands that weigh them down to simulate the body’s response to extreme sleep deprivation. Of course, this is all done in a safe environment away from traffic. Federal statistics show that traffic accidents are the top cause of death among young people. According to traffic safety experts, drivers who feel drowsy should pull over as soon as possible and take a 20-minute nap.
Nodding of while behind the wheel can often lead to a serious car accident. Occupants of other vehicles who have been injured as a result of this type of negligence might want to have an attorney’s assistance when seeking compensation for their medical bills and other losses.