When a self-driving car is involved in a crash the news spreads across the world. Few reports include the fact that on the same day thousands of people are seriously injured or killed in road traffic accidents involving cars driven, not by technology but by people.
Any air crash investigator will tell you that the vast majority of aircraft crashes are caused by pilot error. The same is true for collisions on roads. Over recent years positive steps have been taken to reduce accidents caused by intoxicated drivers. Yet in most regions authorities fail to even measure the percentage of accidents attributable to tiredness. Despite the fact that many drivers will acknowledge that there are times when their concentration has lapsed due to sleepiness behind the wheel.
Just one hour of lost sleep will negatively impact our driving.
In the United States, fatigue is often cited as the root cause of road traffic accident and data suggests that it accounts for at least 100,000 serious collisions annually, that’s 274 per day!
Can Technology Help?
Whilst fully self-driving cars are not currently available, sceptics should consider the benefits of cars with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) such as adaptive cruise control, that matches the speed and following distance of the vehicle in front. Self-steering options have now been introduced by most manufacturers with Tesla promising further advancements from August 2018.
5 Tips to Overcome Tiredness
Whilst the best solution to driving tired is to take a break, these advancements in vehicle technology should be welcomed. At present legislation doesn’t allow drivers to abdicate their responsibility to control the car. So here are some tips to maintain alertness behind the wheel:
“I can’t get enough sleep” is not a problem; it is a potential cause (or perhaps the result) of a problem. To clarify your thinking, try to identify the bad outcome ﬁrst; e.g., “I am performing poorly in my job.”