Drivers are the obvious target market for anti-sleep alarms. Truck drivers with tight schedules often find themselves hauling freight overnight. An alarm worn over the ear and a thermos of coffee could be enough to keep drivers alert without resorting to pharmaceuticals. Even the casual spring break road tripper could use a sleep alarm.
Over-the-ear alarms have uses beyond the driver's seat. A student cramming through the night could skip the usual chemical ways to stay awake and slip an alarm over his or her ear instead. Night security guards, especially those who work in stationary posts and gate houses, could also make use of this simple technology.
While these alarms can keep tired eyes open and brains alert enough to study, driving while sleepy is dangerous. Having a sleep alarm either built into in the car or worn on the ear may give tired drivers a false sense of security. This danger led the Australian state of Victoria to ban the devices in 2007 pending further safety testing.
Anti-sleep alarms would help travelers who'd rather hit the road than the hay, but the best and safest remedy for a driver's drooping eyelids is to stop and take a nap.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Doze Alert home page, Sav-A-Life Company. (January 7, 2009)http://www.sav-a-life.com/Doze_intro.htm
- Drive Alert Master page, Smart Home Company. (January 7, 2009)http://www.smarthome.com/92794/Drive-Alert-Master-Stay-Awake-When-Driving/p.aspx
- Fenton, Reuven. "Drowsy Driving is Big Killer in U.S." Reuters.com, November 2, 2007. (Jan. 21, 2009)http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSN3130250920071102
- Lewin, Tony, "In-Car Monitoring System Helps Keep Drivers Alert," Automotive News, October 6, 2008. Subscription required. (January 7, 2009)http://www.autonews.com/article/20081006/ANA03/810060303/1182
- Nap Zapper home page. (January 7, 2009)http://www.napzapper.biz/
- National Sleep Foundation. "Drowsy Driving." (January 15, 2009) http://www.sleepfoundation.org/site/c.huIXKjM0IxF/b.4815049/k.A212/Drowsy_Driving.htm
- The No Nap home page. (January 7, 2009)http://www.thenonap.com/
- Office of the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Victoria, Australia, April 5, 2007. "Minister Issues Ban on Driving Anti-Sleep Alarm." (January 7, 2009)http://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/domino/Web_Notes/newmedia.nsf/798c8b072d117a01ca256c8c0019bb01/51439959054b623bca2572b8007b358e!OpenDocument
- Riches, Erin, "Driving While Drowsy? It's in the Eyes, Says Saab," Edmunds.com, November 1, 2007. (January 7, 2009)http://blogs.edmunds.com/strategies/2007/11/driving-while-drowsy-its-in-the-eyes-says-saab.html
- Think Geek, Anti-Sleep Driving Alarm. (January 7, 2009)http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/car/a51a/