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Device in development wakes up drowsy drivers with a shock

West Virginia motorists who consider themselves to be responsible drivers could still be in danger of making a mistake that most people aren't aware of when they do it, which is falling asleep behind the wheel. Fatigued driving is a serious problem in the United States that can have deadly consequences, and that is why one company has started a Kickstarter fund for a device it is developing that will literally shock sleepy drivers to wake them up.

The device, called Steer, was developed by Create Mode. The company's founder said he was inspired to do something about fatigued driving when a friend broke his collarbone after he fell asleep while driving and crashed into a tree. In 2016 development began on Steer, which is a device that is worn on the wrist and sends an electric pulse to a driver when it senses that he or she is dozing off.

Steer senses changes in perspiration and heart rate which could indicate that the driver is getting drowsy. The device vibrates if it senses a lower heart rate and skin conductance level. If the heart rate and skin conductance lower further, the device sends a gentle electric shock. The goal is to keep drivers alert and warn them that they are getting drowsy, so that they can pull over and rest.

Driving while drowsy can be considered a form of negligence in some cases. All motorists owe a duty of care to their passengers and others who are on the road. If a sleep-deprived driver causes a car accident in which others are injured, an attorney could assist a victim in seeking to obtain appropriate compensation, either through a settlement with the at-fault driver's insurer or through a personal injury lawsuit.

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