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New technology combats drowsy driving

Mon, 20 Dec 2010

Auto supplier Takata is introducing a new driver-alertness warning system to the commercial trucking industry to keep drivers awake.

The SafeTrak electronic vision system sounds an alert if a trucker is driving erratically or unintentionally drifting from a lane.

A recent AAA study for traffic safety found that drowsy driving is a contributing factor in 16.5 percent of fatal car crashes in the United States. The study estimates that more than 5,000 annual roadway fatalities are caused by drowsy driving.

The SafeTrak system is available in North America through manufacturers including Freightliner, Kenworth, Volvo and Mack.

A growing number of automakers are already adding lane-departure drowsy-driver warnings to some of their vehicles.

By Michelle Koueiter