Worn on just two fingers, the StopSleep device immediately detects loss of concentration and fatigue, warning drivers using signals in the form of vibrations and loud alert tones, which will escalate as the driver’s loss of concentration increases.
The principle of the StopSleep device is based on the continuous analysis and measurement of skin conductivity using eight built in electrodermal sensors. Before falling asleep the skin conductivity sharply decreases. As soon as the device detects these changes, it responds immediately, providing loud sound and vibration warnings. This is the exact same technology used in lie detector polygraphs.
There have been a large number of studies on driver fatigue, the effect that driver fatigue can have and what other factors can lead to a drop in concentration and awareness when driving. A recent major study showed that in the last three years more people died in fatigue related crashes than drink related crashes.
StopSleep has been the subject of a detailed scientific study undertaken by the National Scientific Research Centre (CNRS) in France. The results of this study have proved the effectiveness of StopSleep in alerting at two levels: initial signs of drowsiness (progressive decline in concentration and awareness) and sleepiness (significant drop in concentration and awareness).
Following the behavioral and physiological studies by CLLE-LTC, there was a positive validation of the StopSleep device. However, the StopSleep team would like to remind users that the device is designed to detect variations in alertness and concentration, and is not a cure for driving whilst over-tired. The purpose of the device is that it can alert the user to negative changes and reductions to their concentration and awareness.
Sleep related accidents peak in the early hours of the morning, between 2:00 and 6:00 am, and in the mid afternoon, between 3:00 and 4:00 pm, due mainly to circadian rhythms. An extensive research showed that drivers are 50 times more likely to fall asleep at the wheel at 2:00 am than at 10:00 am. The risk is three times as great between 3:00 – 4:00 pm than at 10:00 am.
There appears to be a link between the age of the driver and the peak fatigue time too. Younger drivers are more prone to fatigue in the early hours of the morning, whereas older drivers are more likely to fall asleep at the wheel during the afternoon sleep period. For drivers aged 70 years or more, the peak time period was between 10:00 and 11:00 am.
Another study, this time from Germany, also found the exact same link between sleep related accidents and time of day, again with the highest risk period being the early hours of the morning and in the mid afternoon. Horne describes typical sleeprelated accidents as ones where the driver runs off the road or collides with another vehicle or an object, without any sign of hard braking before the impact.