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Ford “Sleep Suit” simulates effects of drowsy driving

Drowsy driving is behind one in five road accidents. Lack of sleep affects concentration, and remaining awake for 18 hours or more can impair one to the same extent as a driver who exceeds the legal limit for alcohol. Louisiana residents should know that Ford has created a special Sleep Suit to give drivers a first-hand impression of how dangerous it is to drive drowsy. This coincided with the designation of March 15 as “World Sleep Day.”

The suit consists of goggles, a specially designed cap, a vest, and arm and ankle bands. The goggles, which are connected to a smartphone app, simulate the effect of microsleep, which is where the brain shuts down involuntary due to fatigue. These microsleep episodes can leave drivers blind to the road for 10 seconds or more.

The suit is worn in a safe environment. The parts are weighted, and their combined weight of about 40 pounds simulates the effect of fatigue on the body.

Ford is integrating the Sleep Suit into its Ford Driving Skills for Life, a free driver training program for those aged 17 to 24. This is important because transport accidents happen to be the leading cause of death among young people. Ultimately, the only solution for drowsy driving is to get adequate sleep.

However, there are many who intentionally deprive themselves of sleep for the sake or work or study. If they cause a car crash, they could be to blame. Those who are injured may want to have a lawyer evaluate their case and see if they are eligible for damages under Louisiana’s rule of comparative fault. They may have the option of filing a claim against the other’s auto insurance company. The lawyer may be able to negotiate for a fair settlement.

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