The dangers of dozing off at the wheel are so important to keep in mind that at the beginning of the 20th century, regulations forced drivers to sleep eight hours before driving a motor vehicle.
It has been estimated that drowsiness is responsible, directly or indirectly, for 15-30 percent of accidents in Spain. As time goes by, this bad habit can be deadly.
In 1936, to reduce the amount of deaths caused by drowsiness when driving, a rudimentary driver monitoring system capable of warning the driver when he/she showed the symptoms of drowsiness was invented. The inventor thought that by hanging a small gong-like device around the neck of the driver, fatalities caused by drowsiness would decrease. The system had an alarm that rang sharply when the driver’s chin dropped and made contact with the device.
This system was shown in the first episode of the program “Cero en historia” on Movistar Plus TV.
Nowadays, drowsiness behind the wheel is still a risk, but we have systems that monitor drivers which are more advanced. Driver monitoring systems are now able to detect drowsiness by analyzing behaviors and yawning patterns, eyelid blink frequency and eye movements.