Chevrolet has been sending a safety engineer across the county to raise awareness of the risks of drowsy driving. Fatigued driving accidents are commonplace and particularly dangerous because a sleepy driver is slower to react and brake or swerve to avoid a collision. A drowsy driver may actually nod off behind the wheel and crash at full speed.
Chevrolet is asking local and national journalists to try the car manufacturer’s drowsy driving simulator. It consists of a 23-pound suit to cause the sluggishness your body feels when fatigued, and goggles that replicate frequent blinking associated with drowsy driving.
“As you get tired, the way we can tell is by your percent of eye closure, so every 10 seconds, the goggles close for one second; this represents being a medium level of drowsy, and mimics your eye pattern when you’re tired,” Maureen Short, a human factors expert and senior safety engineer for Chevrolet, told an NBC News reporter. “If you’re truly drowsy and you nod off, it can be 2 to 4 seconds of eye closure at a time.”