RCL Exclusive

One for the Road: A Breathalyzer for Tired Drivers

It’s necessary considering more than 100,000 accidents a year involve tired drivers.

Science By

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Why do people drive sleepy?

It’s difficult enough trying to finish a Friday night movie through droopy eyes. But captain a machine that demands highly attuned, in-the-moment motor skills and decision making? Regardless, it’s happening: 100,000 accidents a year involve sleepy drivers, 6,500 of which that result in deaths.

Offering one potential solution: a recent study conducted by the University of Surrey’s Sleep Research Center, which used a computer algorithm to develop a blood test that (to 92% accuracy) could distinguish between well-rested folk and people who’d pulled an all-nighter. Basically, they discovered 68 genes that predict a lack of sleep in the host. (That’s out of thousands measured.)

How could this be applied to our highways? Remains to be seen. The technology hasn’t been created yet, but outfitting an automated roadside test with technology that can locate those genes and confirm, yes, this guy is absolutely exhausted and has no business being on the road, could lead to a safer future on the freeway.

Find more information on the study here.

h/t Digital Trends