An iPhone app to help drivers stay awake behind the wheel could have an impact on the number of drowsiness-related accidents, a leading US auto publication has said.
The Anti Sleep Pilot, developed in collaboration with sleep scientists and released earlier this year, gathers information about the driver and makes recommendations based on the profile as to when drivers are most likely to nod off.
Users must answer a series of questions, including health-related elements such as age, body mass index, and the hours they work and sleep on average, before setting off.
Once they are in motion, the app automatically calculates a "fatigue level" and recommends breaks at suitable times to attempt to maintain alertness, counting down until the next break.
Thanks to the inclusion of GPS tracking functionality and an accelerometer, it also measures distance covered and can display the information, along with alertness levels after the trip.
Drivers concerned about their alertness can also take simple tests to measure their fatigue level.
Influential US auto publication Edmunds.com, which reviewed the $19.99 app last week, said that it could be well worth the money to keep drivers awake.
"This can be a very useful app to keep you safe on the road," says Doug Newcomb, Edmunds.com technology editor.
"But users of this app also want to make sure that they don't pay so much attention to the ASP's alertness tasks that they become distracted and put themselves even more at risk."
Aprroximately 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue, says the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with young men, shift workers and those that suffer from narcolepsy or sleep apnea at particularly high risk.
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