New Wearable Could Save 30,000 People a Year

This armband can keep drowsy drivers awake on the road.

7. 25. 17 by Christianna Reedy
Image by Steer

In the U.S., about a quarter of all car accidents — 328,000 annually — involve driving fatigue. These crashes cause an estimated 30,000 deaths every year, making drowsy driving almost as dangerous as drunk driving. The magnitude of this problem is shocking — and so is its solution.

Image Credit: STEER

Steer is a bracelet that will give you a “gentle” electric shock if you are close to falling asleep. It works by using 16 sensors that are equipped within the band. These sensors monitor various vital signs — similarly to the way a polygraph machine records your physiological indicators. Steer measures heart rate and skin conductance to determine how drowsy the wearer is.
If Steer finds that you are getting a little drowsy, it will alert you by vibrating. But if it determines you are on the brink of sleep, then it will deploy an electrical jolt — for your own good, of course. The device checks on you every two seconds and has a battery life of two weeks, so you can rest assured (while wide awake) that Steer will keep you safe on your next road trip.Steer’s makers are taking orders on their Kickstarter page, where the band is currently available for 99€ ($115). It is slated for mass production this fall, with delivery to follow in November.But while it is vital — literally — to stay awake while driving, it’s also important to get good rest on a regular basis. You shouldn’t have to be shocked awake on every excursion. On that front, check out these gadgets that will you catch some Zs once you get safely to your destination.

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