Eye tracking may improve shocking statistics reported in recent poll
Sleep deprivation in train operators causes fatal accidents
The National Sleep Foundation published the results of the National Sleep in America poll for 2012, and the lifesaving possibilities of eye tracking
technology are more evident than ever before. Transportation professionals, including truck, bus, taxi, and limo drivers, pilots, and train operators were surveyed about sleep habits and work performance, and the results were alarming. Nearly 25% of pilots and train operators surveyed declared that sleepiness affects their performance at work at least once a week. Furthermore, 1 in 5 pilots has made a serious sleepiness-induced error and 1 in 6 truck drivers has experienced a “close call” because they were falling asleep.
Sleepiness while working is not the only dangerous situation sleep deprivation can cause. Every worker is at risk for sleep related car accidents as they commute home after a long shift. In fact, the most at risk are pilots and train operators, who report six times more sleep-induced car crashes than any other types of workers. Erratic, irregular sleep schedules are one of the primary culprits of extreme drowsiness and fatigue in these professionals, in addition to insufficient time in between shifts to get the rest they require.
The National Sleep Foundation report details nine devastating crashes where fatigue was a contributing factor. These accidents involved close to 130 injuries and 34 fatalities. Tragedies like these are prime examples of the true potential for eye tracking technology to be used to improve transportation safety. By detecting the early signs of fatigue before the transportation professional’s performance breaks down, an eye tracking system can make the user aware of their drowsy state. Early detection of fatigue gives the user the opportunity to take action and appropriate precautions before it’s too late.
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