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Suit designed by Ford helps simulate drowsy driving

Those who drive drowsy on Illinois roadways could be putting themselves and others at risk. According to recent research, it is the cause of roughly 20 percent of traffic accidents throughout the country. Individuals who drive after staying awake for 18 hours or more could be as impaired as people who are above the legal alcohol limit. March 15 was World Sleep Day, and Ford wanted to highlight the dangers of driving while tired with the use of a special suit.

Individuals were given a pair of goggles to wear that was connected to a smartphone app. The goggles were meant to simulate what it is like to drive while the brain was attempting to shut down and go to sleep. It was designed to allow individuals to experience the danger of driving a simulated vehicle without being able to see. Weights were also attached to an individual to further simulate the impairment caused by drowsy driving.

Individuals wearing the goggles were subjected to darkness for up to 10 seconds at a time. This replicated the phenomenon of microsleeps, which can occur when an individual has been awake for too long. When a driver is tired, sleeping is the only way for him or her to overcome that feeling. In some cases, even a short nap can be critical in getting to a destination safely.

A drowsy driver may be at a higher risk of causing a significant accident. Those who are hurt in a crash caused by a drowsy driver may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit. This may allow victims to obtain compensation for medical bills and lost wages. Other damages may also be available through a lawsuit or settlement outside of court. Attorneys may gather evidence, such as witness statements, that may show that negligence led to an accident.

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