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Driving While Exhausted

DWE
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Some obnoxiously large number of car accidents happen every year because one of the drivers was nodding off at the wheel. I myself have feared jerking myself out of a sleep I didn't realize I was in, only to find myself on a collision course. I think cops should be on the lookout for behavior that might indicate fatigue or "road hypnosis" such as screaming, sticking one's head out the window, slapping, head jerking, and plain ol' erratic driving.

Testing for fatigue might prove quite difficult, because a person's system is likely to be shot through with adrenaline as soon as he or she gets pulled over. Even if fatigue could be proven or admitted, I'm not sure what the consequences should be. Some people just can't help having to stay up late or being unable to take power naps during the day.

Note: reensure's Highway Hypnosis link deleted because of "host not found message."

centauri, Dec 05 2000

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       As far as I know, this is already against the law, at least in California where I got my license. It's not the same as DWI, but you can be pulled over for it. (Also, some countries won't let you drive if you've got the flu.)
bookworm, Dec 05 2000
  

       Or what about a device that attaches or somehow just monitors the driver's breathing. When the driver goes into a deep relaxed breathing state (i.e. sleeping) the car gradually slows to a halt after blasting some kind of alarm to awaken the driver who can then safely pull off the road.
smylly, Jan 03 2001
  

       semi baked - Mercedes have already field-tested (and waiting Type Approval for public release) a system of proximity sensors in the headrest. It detects if your head slowly moves away from the headrest, as would be the case if you drifted to sleep and your head dipped. It sounds a loud alarm buzzer and slows the car, whilst (i think) also keeping the steering in a straight line....intended for motorway use. I seem to recall they also built in a retina monitoring thing that checked if your eyes stayed shut, but I think that may have been a "wish list" concept at the time.
ickledinkle, Jan 11 2001
  

       Good one, centauri.
mrthingy, Mar 14 2001
  

       I read an article a few months ago about some research being done to objectivly measure sleepiness. Basically it measured alertness by timing the time it takes your retina to contract when stimulated... <sigh> just one more revenue generating tool for the police to abuse in the future.
andrewkorbel, Apr 20 2001
  

       Many ideas in this vein have been baked. Would would someone please implement them?
FloridaManatee, May 28 2003
  

       Train drivers in NYC now have to squeeze something continually in order to make the train go.
phundug, May 28 2003
  

       What FloridaManatee said.
galukalock, May 28 2003
  

       I don't see an idea here. The author identifies a problem, but doesn't offer a solution except for police watching out for erratic driving, which they already (presumably) do.
snarfyguy, May 28 2003
  

       I'd be really surprised if you could measure fatigue as handily as alcohol consumption.
snarfyguy, Jun 02 2003
  

       [phundug] - //Train drivers in NYC now have to squeeze something continually in order to make the train go.//   

       (1)They're not train drivers. (2)That's not why they squeeze it. (3)Don't let them trick you into squeezing it for them.
ConsultingDetective, Feb 01 2004
  
      
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