Driver-fatigue test could stop drowsy people from getting behind the wheel

Driver-fatigue test could stop drowsy people from getting behind the wheel

A roadside test is being developed by Victorian researchers to identify tired drivers and keep them off the road.

They hope so-called smart glasses, which track eye movements and measure the length of our blinks, might help police identify drowsy drivers and prevent fatigue-related accidents.

Professor Mark Howard, director of the Victorian Respiratory Support Service at Austin Hospital, said researchers were using devices that look at eyelid movements to detect and assess the severity of drowsiness being experienced by someone.

He said the ability to enforce alert driving had been hampered by not being able to measure drowsiness.

"Because we can't measure it very well, we've only scratched the surface in terms of educating people about that risk," Professor Howard said.

Key points:

  • One-fifth of Australian adults have fallen asleep while driving
  • Nearly a third drive while drowsy at least once a month
  • Shift workers, parents of young children, and anyone who doesn't get enough quality sleep is at risk

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