Ford Canada and Lethbridge police trying to reduce fatigue driving incidents
Ford has created a new suit that simulates what it feels like to 'drive tired', which they demonstrated for University of Lethbridge students Tuesday
LETHBRIDGE – Ford Canada and the Lethbridge Police Service worked together to put on an exhibit showcasing the dangers of driving while fatigued to University of Lethbridge students.
Ford Canada spokesperson Angela Cabucos crunched some startling numbers for the students Tuesday.
“One in five accidents are actually caused from drivers being fatigued at the wheel," Cabucos said.
The message was delivered so soon after the weekend time change for a good reason, said Cabucos.
"With it being daylight saving a few days ago we want to talk to students about how that can have an effect on your internal body clock," she said.
Moving clocks forward or even back adds to the possible fatigue students already face on a daily basis said Lethbridge Police Department's Sgt. Rod Pastoor.
“With students [they] have a full course load, maybe they are working as well. They have their social life and if they’re not having good sleep patterns, that's going to affect them driving.”
The demonstration included one of Ford's Sleepsuits showing how fatigued drivers can become driving zombies of a sort, who experience diminished alertness and significantly slower reaction times.
The outfit includes weights on the ankles, chest, wrists and top of the head to makes participants feel heavy, and futuristic-looking goggles that mimic what they call the 'micro sleep' of a fatigued driver.
Participants go through an obstacle course to feel the full effects of the outfit and what it’s like driving tired behind the wheel.
The LPS wants students, and everybody for that matter, to understand the dangers of driving fatigued.
“They may not even realize that they're missing things," said Pastoor. "If you run over a pedestrian, or crash your car, those are lifelong consequences.”
As far as how to avoid driving tired, Ford Canada and the LPS recommend planning ahead for your drive, eating properly, switching drivers or seeking a different mode of transportation if you're feeling fatigued at the wheel.