ZZZ… News January 7, 2009
Though there is an ever-increasing awareness about the dangers of driving while sleepy or fatigued, there are few reliable strategies for maintaining driver alertness. While this is often a concern for those in the transportation industry, automakers are also taking the issue to heart.
As reported in AutoWeek, Mercedes Benz has designed an in-car system that will alert drivers who appear to be failing in their ability to maintain alertness. Built into the E-class cars, the system is designed around a steering sensor and will provide a warning chime. For the complete story see http://www.autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008812249991
The Mercedes Benz system is highly sophisticated, but you may be interested in the very simple over-the-ear devices which are also available. These are basically motion sensors that buzz when your head starts to fall forward. You can find an example of such a device at www.dozealert.com.
All alerting devices are meant to be that - alerting devices. The key to their effectiveness is that the driver actually stops and takes a rest break or nap. They are not intended to help you drive further or longer and can be very dangerous when used for such a purpose.
Strategies for Health and Well-Being
Take frequent breaks when driving. Stop every 3 or 4 hours when driving long distances.
Drink water as you drive. In addition to promoting alertness, it will promote the need to stop for a bathroom break. Drivers may find this annoying but it may be a very inexpensive life insurance policy.
Chew on crunchy snacks like carrot sticks, celery, apples and sunflowers.
Use aromatherapy such as peppermint or citrus to promote alertness.
Keep the interior of the vehicle cool.