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Driver Fatigue

Definition of Driver fatigue

Driver fatigue is a state where risks and dangers may result from driver physiological and psychological disorders after constantly driving for a long time. According to China traffic regulations, if the driver does not stop to rest after keeping driving for 4 hours or the rest time is less than 20 minutes, it will be defined as fatigue driving.

Causes of Driver Fatigue

This usually happens when a driver has not slept enough, but it can also happen due to untreated sleep disorders, medications, drinking alcohol, or shift work. .

1.Lack of sleep. Sleepiness is the most direct and effective way to eliminate fatigue and restore power. Relevant experts claim that 15% of traffic accidents are caused by lack of sleep and half of the accidents result from sleep less than 6 hours.

2.Long time driving. During driving, the driver needs to stare at the forward as well as observe changing road conditions at the rear and around all the time. The fixed seat position and limited monotonous actions for long hours easily get the body and muscle nervous and lack of oxygen, which will cause tiredness.

3.Disease, drugs and alcohol. When drivers keep working in bad condition, after taking medicine or drinking alcohol, they will easily get into sleep.

4.Unhealthy diets. Leaving the stomach empty, or taking oily, spicy, cold, hard or too much food can accelerate drowsiness in driving.

Human biological rhythm. Statistics indicate that at periods from 13:00pm to 16:00pm and 2:00am to 6:00am when the body tends to fall into sleepy mode, there is a high rate of traffic accidents. This is a common issue disturbing the shift workers.

Symptoms of Driver Fatigue

Fatigue is not a quantitative state. It has different degrees at different time and different conditions for different individuals. It can be reflected in different forms:

1. Powerlessness. The driver may feel weak, fragile and present poor performance in direction, changing gear etc.

2. Inability to concentrate and reduced alertness. Fatigue will make the driver difficult to concentrate, slow in receiving outside information, and have narrowed vision. The driver will easily get distracted and fall in danger.

3. Impaired sense function. The function of sense organs can get impaired or disordered with the occurrence of driver fatigue, which manifests as blurred vision, decreased hearing or hallucinating.

4. Declined operation skills such as inflexible in gearchange, uncoordinated actions and unsteady operation of throttle.

5. Poor ability in memory and thinking. Under excessive fatigue, the driver will be “foggy” and have slow response or poor judgment. He may forget to turn on signals when taking a sharp turn or not observe road conditions at the rear or sides.

6. Drowsiness or tiredness. There will be symptoms of dazed mind, drowsiness, closing eyes for a long time or dozing.

Hazards of Driver Fatigue

With the development of economy and improvement of people’s living standard, there are more and more vehicles emerging on the road. The contradiction among people, vehicles and road becomes more prominent. It needs the drivers to keep alert, judge rapidly, operate properly and observe changing things on the road. No negligence is allowed. Contrarily, fatigue brings negative effects: impaired energy, distraction, misjudgment, blurred vision etc. These pose a great threat to driving safety. A collision or accident can take one’s life, ruin vehicles, cause property loss and even get other people involved.

Fatigue Driving Accidents Stats

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conservatively estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year. This results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses. These figures may be the tip of the iceberg, since currently it is difficult to attribute crashes to sleepiness. (Learn more)

Driver Fatigue Management And Prevention

As driver drowsiness is a major cause to traffic accidents, eliminating and preventing fatigue becomes especially important for drivers. For business fleets, an effective driver fatigue management system is very necessary. For individual drivers, they should also recognize the severity of fatigue driving.

Driver Fatigue management tips for business:

1.Limit the duration of shifts and eliminate or reduce the need to work overtime or be on-call

2.Ensure that breaks between shifts allow sufficient time for rest and recovery, and commuting between work and home.

3.Ensure the vehicles to be well ventilated so the driving room will not be at temperature extremes.

4.Encourage drivers to report any concerns they may have about fatigue driving.

5.Ensure drivers are trained to monitor fatigue levels, in order to prevent and manage fatigue

6.Provide instruction to drivers on the effects of fatigue and the ways in which fatigue can be minimized.

7.Develop procedures for dealing with fatigued drivers.

8.Equip the vehicle with driver fatigue alert systems.

Tips to help eliminate tiredness and keep alert for drivers:

1.Ensure sufficient sleep: sleep is the best way to eliminate fatigue and recover energy.

2.Make journey plans in advance. This will allow you to well understand the road conditions and appropriately arrange to rest on the way, preventing fatigue driving.

3.Try not to be excessively concentrated during driving. Keeping starring at the road center line is likely to cause visual and mental tense, so driver fatigue will happen.

4.Wear the sunglasses correctly. Long time or improper way of wearing sunglasses can also bring about fatigue.

5. Elegant jazz is especially suitable for driving. Remember not to listen music with too strong or too slow rhythm.

6. Keep a healthy diet. Remember to have regular quantitative meals and properly supplement the nutrition now and then.

7. Be cautious in taking medicines. Certain anti-allergic and heat-clearing and detoxifying drugs contain ingredients promoting sleepiness. So, just avoid hitting the road if you are not well and already take medicines.

8. Wear comfortable flat shoes. Many girls are high-heels lovers. But stepping on the accelerator with high heels can get you very tired and crazy. Please do prepare a pair of comfortable flat shoes if you want to control at the wheel.

9.Bring your favorite snacks. When you get tired, taking some snacks such as pistachios to supplement your energy or mint gum to refresh your mind, which will be absolutely effective in eliminating fatigue.

10.Refresh your mind with fragrance. Put a bottle of aromatherapy oil in the car. It will be of great help in improving the air inside the car as well as refreshing up the brain and respiratory system.

11. Use protective equipment such as drowsy driver alert systems to monitor and respond to fatigue levels.

Driver Fatigue Alarm Systems

Driver fatigue alarm systems work to detect driver fatigue or distraction and give warnings of impending hazards.

Driver Fatigue Monitor MR688 uses pupil identification technology to analyze if the driver becomes drowsy or inattentive. Except audible and visual alerts, MR688 also offers vibrate alert to drivers.

Applications of Driver Fatigue Alert Systems

With the advance of driver safety technology and importance attached to driver safety, more and more governments and business are putting driver fatigue alert systems as mandatory devices installed in the vehicles.

The systems are already put into use in quite some industries:

  1. Bus Company
  2. Mining Industry
  3. Cargo Logistics
  4. Hazardous Chemicals Transportation
  5. Coach company
  6. Chain supermarket
  7. Construction
  8. Commercial vehicles manufacturers

Driver Fatigue Detection Technology

Driver fatigue detection is a vehicle safety technology that helps mitigate or prevent accidents caused by drivers getting fatigued. Basically, it combines infrared sensor or camera to detect on driver behaviors or physical features or vehicle motions, with image processor to analyze and identify if the driver fall into drowsiness or distraction.

Driver fatigue detection methods:

1. Based on driver behaviors detection
  1. Eye behaviors detection : Eye behaviors cover eyelid opening(PERCLOS)、blink frequency、vision direction、pupil characteristics etc.
  2. Head movement detection
  3. Mouth state detection
  4. Facial expressions detection
  5. Steering wheel pattern monitoring
2. Based on physiological index detection
  1. EEG signals: extract typical features of different EEG in each band.
  2. ECG signals: detect heart rate change of drivers
  3. EMG signals
  4. EOG signals: receive blinking types and changing conditions at different moments.
  5. Pulse signals
  6. Sweat constituents
  7. Saliva constituents
  8. Breath frequency
3. Based on vehicle motion state monitoring
  1. RRS road reconstruction
  2. TLC road reconstruction
  3. Lane deviation
  4. Steering-wheel torque
  5. Driving speed
  6. Forward distance
  7. Accelerator pedal force

Lane departure warning system (LDWS)

LDWS, mostly based on machine vision algorithm, realize intelligent identification of road lines. By vision processing algorithm and lane deviation policy algorithm, it can judge if a vehicle strays off the lanes and give an audible and visual warning to alert drivers of impending collisions.

Vehicle identification and safe distance keeping system

1. Use machine vision, infrared, radar sensors to collect and fuse information so as to identify, track and detect the vehicle ahead.

2. Apply driver pedal control mode and use distance sensors to achieve forward vehicles data and analyze driver’s response mode to judge whether a driver is fatigued.

The development trend of fatigue detection technology

1. Intelligent driver fatigue detection systems based on vehicle networking.

With a combination of fatigue warnings based on image analysis technique and driver behaviors and road scene analysis as well as vehicle networking technology, driver fatigue data will be delivered to fleet management center and help business realize a highly effective fleet management

2. Driver fatigue monitor mr688 can be integrated with fleet’s AVL or GPS tracking system.

Under multiple monitoring management systems, MR688 has successfully helped fleets reduce accidents by up to 90% .

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CareDrive is a global leading brand in the field of automotive safety management, specializing in providing professional solution and service for different vehicle fleets. Since established in 2000, CareDrive always insists on independent development and customer-oriented philosophy, maintains advanced creativity, and performs strict controls in the product quality.

The brand “CareDrive” under Hao Nai has won worldwide reputation in the line of automotive safety management. CareDrive always insists on independent development and customer-oriented philosophy, maintains advanced creativity, and performs strict controls in the product quality. All systems come out in accordance with the standard of CE and ROHS.

With years of efforts, CareDrive has successfully acquired trust and support from global customers including world 500 top enterprises and the products have covered more than 150 countries with an export rate over 95%.

CareDrive’s dream: help the fleet reduce 90% accidents, get every driver home safely.

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