Snooze Mobiles: How Vibrations in Cars Make Drivers Sleepy
Published:13 Jul.2018    Source:Science Daily

 With about 20 per cent of fatal road crashes involving driver fatigue, researchers from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, hope their findings can be used by manufacturers to improve car seat designs to help keep drivers awake.

 

Professor Stephen Robinson said the effects of physical vibration on drivers were not well understood, despite growing evidence that vibration contributes to feelings of sleepiness.

 

"We know 1 in 5 Australians have fallen asleep at the wheel and we know that drowsy driving is a significant issue for road safety," Robinson said.

 

"When you're tired, it doesn't take much to start nodding off and we've found that the gentle vibrations made by car seats as you drive can lull your brain and body.

 

"Our study shows steady vibrations at low frequencies -- the kind we experience when driving cars and trucks -- progressively induce sleepiness even among people who are well rested and healthy.