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What Do Driver Drowsiness Detection Systems Do?

Driver fatigue is a growing problem across America. Drowsy driver detection systems are designed to alert drivers to their driving behaviors so that they don't cause an accident. In theory, this could reduce the rate of drowsy driving accidents in the United States.

Systems Designed To Detect Driver Fatigue

There are four types of systems designed to detect driver fatigue. Some are currently in use, while others are under development. These include steering pattern monitoring systems. This early attempt to monitor driver fatigue is still in use and relies on monitoring the steering wheel's movement. Drowsy drivers tend to move the wheel more frequently and erratically. These systems help drivers track their movements and make adjustments to driving behaviors.

Perhaps the most common and widely used driver fatigue detection systems are vehicle position in lane departure monitoring systems. These systems rely on sensors and cameras to detect the vehicle's position within the lane of travel. As the vehicle departs the lane, it triggers an audible or vibrating alarm. If there is no response to the alarm, the system automatically corrects the steering to return the vehicle to the lane.

More advanced systems rely on driver eye/face monitoring. These systems rely on cameras embedded in the dash or a mobile device. These systems monitor eye and facial movement, including the position of the eyes, the width of the eye, and the position of the face. When the system detects drooping eyes, eye closure, or persistent downward facial position, it triggers an alarm. Many of these systems boast successful driver fatigue detection in the range of 95% or higher.

Limitations of Driver Fatigue Detection Systems

These technologies are still within the early stages of development and use. While they can alert a sleepy driver, they can't prevent the driver from falling asleep. Moreover, systems may fail to detect driver fatigue due to poorly visible lane markings, light conditions, faulty programming, or loss of power.

Thus, while technology is under development that could one day end drowsy driving accidents, it's not quite there yet. For now, the best protection against drowsy driving collisions is a good night's rest and taking regular breaks on long trips down the road.

Contact Welmaker Injury Law at (210) 828-6033 for more information about driver fatigue and the steps you can take to protect yourself from drowsy driving accidents in San Antonio.