Report! Good sleep can help reduce accidents

Written by Nizam Shaikh

According to Dr. Matthew Walker, “Sleep is probably the greatest legal performance enhancer, not enough people are using”. Having said that, would you prefer a taxi cab, whose driver has a 30% higher likelihood of getting into a crash due to sleep deprivation? Well, we think any one with enough self preservation thought, wouldn’t. But, if you are required to drive with less sleep, the night before, one might tend to neglect this. So here is a report, that might convince you to sleep more before you set off especially on a long and tiring drive.

Driver’s with Less Sleep, Prone to a Greater Chance of Crash

The National Sleep Foundation reports that around 100,000 crashes per year in the United States are due to drowsy driving. This results in an estimated 71,000 injuries and over USD 12.5 million in damages. A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety also concluded that there is a connection between sleep hours and crash risk.

The findings benchmarked against drivers who slept for not less than 7 hours in the past 24 hours is as follows:-

  • Driver who slept 6-7 hours had a 1.3 times greater crash rate
  • Drivers which slept 5-6 hours had a 1.9 times greater crash rate
  • For sleeping only 4-5 hours drivers had 4.3 times greater crash rate
  • Drivers with less than four hours of sleep had an 11.5 times greater crash rate

Sleep is Not a Cost, its an Investment

According to the Dr Matthew Walker, healthy adults must consistently try to sleep seven to nine hours a night. In addition to this, the doctor reveals that sufficient sleep is essential for a human’s optimal performance. Japanese car manufacturer, Nissan is also working in collaboration with its Formula E team as well as non professional drivers on sleep deprivation. By using an innovative method – “Brian to Performance” Nissan is improving driver’s focus, reaction time and decision-making ability. Nissan’s Brian to Performance program uses targeted brain stimulation for performance research and to achieve necessary results.

Nissan’s Intelligent Driver Alertness System

Nissan is also using important tech features on Nissan models worldwide such as Intelligent Driver Alertness. Also known as I-DA, the system helps detect drowsy and inattentive driving and recommends drivers to take a break. The car can detect if the driver is fatigued and sleepy by detecting the amount of ‘corrective steering’, which tired drivers perform more than usual. An amber coffee cup symbol with an audible chime then appears on the multi-information display to encourage the driver to take a break.

While I-DA can only serves a warning of potential lack of attention and is not capable of detecting and providing an alert in every situation, it is imperative that drivers do not rely on such features and take frequent breaks during drives on their own. In Japan, the system reminds drivers to take a break once every two continuous hours on a navigated route.

And thus sleep is the greatest legal performance enhancer that not enough people are using.

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