- Getting too little sleep is a problem for many Europeans
- Tiredness is the cause of 1 in 5 road accidents in Europe
- Many drivers admit they nod off at the wheel
- Coffee cup symbol helps drowsy drivers realise it’s time to take a break
COLOGNE, Germany, June 21, 2017 – For the many Europeans, who survive on too little sleep, the longest day can be a mixed blessing. Whether it is being woken early by a restless child, or staying out later than planned for an evening drink, it is when sleep-loss can be at its most challenging.
For those in Europe’s northernmost capital, Reykyavik, in Iceland, the sun actually only disappears for 2 hours 56 minutes.
Research shows 1 in 3 Europeans get too little sleep. * Behind the wheel, this can impair driving skills, with reduced concentration and reactions slowed in ways that are comparable to drivers who have consumed alcohol. Tiredness is a cause of 1 in 5 accidents in Europe, ** and 1 in 5 people admit falling asleep at the wheel. ***
On highways and motorways, overhead gantries and roadside signs flash warnings that highlight the dangers of pushing on, but cars also provide warnings to drivers who are starting to drift off. Ford’s Driver Alert system uses a forward‑facing camera to identify lane markings, detect unintentional sideways movements and displays a coffee cup symbol to indicate it could be time to take a break.
“There can be many pressures on drivers to keep going – everyone loves to get home as soon as they can. But the little coffee cup can be an effective reminder that the best way to get home is safely, and that may mean pulling over and having a rest, or a coffee,” said Andrej Loewen, driver assistance engineer, Vehicle Engineering, Ford of Europe.
Ford continues to refine the system, which was first introduced nearly a decade ago. And for vehicles equipped with in-car connectivity system SYNC 3, just saying “I need a coffee” will quickly seek out places to pull over. In Europe, the updated technology will be available for Edge, Galaxy, Mondeo, S‑MAX and Transit. All-new Fiesta will also benefit from enhancements.
“Ford is continually striving to improve the technologies on its vehicles that make driving both safer and more comfortable. For all-new Fiesta, we have also enhanced Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection that for the first time can help prevent collisions with pedestrians at night.” added Loewen.
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* European Consumers Perceptions and Expectations Toward Mattresses 2015, survey conducted for the European Bedding Industries’ Association
** Sleepiness at the Wheel, http://www.esrs.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/publications/Livre_blanc_VA_V4.pdf
*** Sleepiness at the wheel across Europe: a survey of 19 countries, published in the Journal of Sleep Research, volume 24, issue 3, 2015. Survey included 12,434 participants