Mercedes-Benz Launches Drowsy Driving Device

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May 14, 2010

Mercedes-Benz Launches Drowsy Driving Device

Researchers at Mercedes-Benz closely studied more than 550 male and female drivers and the physiological indicators that occur when fatigue sets in while driving. The research shows that drowsy drivers demonstrate a pattern of lane drifts and making minor steering errors that are often corrected quickly and abruptly. These in-depth studies led to the development of technology to monitor driver and vehicle variables called "Attention Assist," which includes highly sensitive sensors that continuously monitor and observe the driver's behavior across 70 different parameters. Among the monitors is a highly sensitive steering angle sensor that recognizes patterns of minor steering corrections, which proves to be a very strong measure of the driver's condition. Once the system recognizes a drowsy driving pattern it emits an audible and visible warning in the form of an espresso cup icon and "time for a break" alert on the instrument panel. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) more than 100,000 police-reported crashes, resulting in 1,550 deaths and another 71,000 injuries each year are caused by drowsy driving. The problem is significant enough that several states are considering legislation that would allow police to charge drowsy drivers with criminal negligence. New Jersey is currently the only state that specifically criminalizes drowsy driving in a fatal crash by classifying it as recklessness under its vehicular homicide statute. This past November, Mercedes-Benz and the National Sleep Foundation joined forces during Drowsy Driving Prevention Week™ to raise awareness around the issue. Do your part to combat drowsy driving by getting enough rest before hitting the road and spreading the word that drowsy driving kills.