In a recent research conducted at the RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, has found that about 20% of the road accidents occur due to driver’s fatigue and Car Vibrations. The researchers are hopeful that the study will help the manufactures to improve the car seat design and keep the drivers awake. According to Professor Stephen Robinson, physical car vibrations do enhance the feeling of sleepiness and this was not understood well till date. He also added that gentle vibration made by car seat makes the body and brain dull. It has been proven that vibration at low frequency tend to induce sleepiness even among well rested people. Thus, efforts are being made that the future cars seat designs will be less likely to induce dullness and can fight vibrations and sleepiness.
The research team headed by chief investigator Associate Professor Mohammad Fard and Professor Stephen Robinson, tested virtual simulator on 15 volunteers, which resulted in sleepiness on the monotonous driving experience on a two way highway. The vibration was experimented on different frequencies, it helped in concluding that tiredness induced by vibrations make mental task harder – both psychologically and physiologically. Therefore the body’s nervous’ system compensate and lead to change in the heartbeat. The research also showed a steady rise in drowsiness, mainly after 60 minutes of driving. In addition professor Fard said that further research is required to examine how vibration is affecting people across diverse demographics.
An experiment on a large scale is required that will help in analyzing how age will effect vulnerability to vibration, which will induce drowsiness, along with its impact on health leading to ‘sleep apnea’. On the other hand certain vibrations also help in keeping people awake. Thus, by harnessing good vibrations, drowsiness among the car drivers can be reduced.