New Safety Features Combat Drowsy Driving

Auto companies are continuing to create safety features that prevent tired drivers from falling asleep at the wheel. Companies such as Mercedes, Nissan, and Toyota are looking to bring their safety technology and installing it in every vehicle in the future. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 5,000 people have died as a result of fatigued driving-related accidents. 60% of drivers in America have admitted to driving while drowsy. Drowsy drivers can be impaired in ways similar to driving under the influence of alcohol, as drivers tend to make poor judgement calls without realizing the possible effects of their decisions. 

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The first automaker to debut a safety feature that was aimed at curbing fatigued driving was Mercedes in 2009. Today, more mainstream vehicles are being equipped with this technology, such as Nissan’s “Driver Attention Alert System” and Toyota’s “Safety Sense P” system. Toyota told AutoGuide that 25 out of its 30 cars will offer the safety feature by 2017. 

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Nissan’s system monitors the driver’s behavior and sets benchmarks from there. If the driver begins to stray from that benchmark, the system will alert the driver that they are driving erratically. “Nissan’s DAA system adapts to each individual driver. DAA monitors steering input patters during a period of driving to establish a baseline. It continuously compares subsequent driving patters to a baseline using a statistical analysis of steering correction errors,” Paige Presley, a member of Nissan’s Technology Communications team said. The vehicle will alert the driver with a chime and message on the dashboard that recommends the driver takes a break. 

Toyota’s Safety Sense P (TSSP) have many different features that combat the potential mistakes drivers make when they are drowsy and behind the wheel such as a pre-collision system and a lane departure warning system. “Vehicles equipped with TSSP vehicle feature a sway warning system. They look at a number of inputs from the driver and can tell if the driver is driving abnormally,” Brian Williams of Toyota’s Safety Sense explained. 


While these safety features may help alert drivers that their tiredness may be leading to erratic driving behavior, the best safety feature comes from the drivers themselves. If a driver feels like they are too tired to drive, it is highly recommended that they pull off at the next opportunity and either take a nap or ask somebody to come pick them up. If you or somebody you know has been injured in an auto accident caused by fatigued driving, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys will work alongside you to identify your needs and find a solution that will get you the help you deserve. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.