Tired at the wheel: how to protect drivers from fatal accidents

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Tired at the wheel: how to protect drivers from fatal accidents
Tired at the wheel: how to protect drivers from fatal accidents
6 June, 13:35
From July 6, 2022, new car models without safety systems that warn the driver about fatigue while driving will no longer be put into operation in the European Union. And from July 7, 2024, EU countries will stop registering vehicles that do not meet the new standards. Is it possible to introduce it in Russia as well?

Ivan Petrovsky

It turns out that there are people who actively promote modern methods of safe driving. One of them is the author of the project "20 Ideas for the Development of Russia" Dmitry Davydov. And most importantly, it should be noted that there is already a reaction from the authorities to Davydov's proposals.

SLEEP AT THE WHEEL - DIE ON THE ROAD

The author of these lines had one characteristic case in his biography. The owners of a new enterprise in the Rostov region organized a small press tour with a trip 120 km from Rostov along the M4 "Don" highway. A Ford minibus with a professional driver was hired to transport the journalists.

The car was almost new. The road is flat. Wonderful weather. The speed is 120 kilometers per hour... And suddenly we see that the Ford with all 11 passengers and the driver is driving into the oncoming lane, along which loaded trucks and construction trucks are rushing...

Fortunately, at the last moment the driver taxied back into his own stream. But that was the end of his trip. After an angry "interrogation" the driver admitted that he slept only two hours, and his previous shift ended at five in the morning. In the end, we had to wait until the transport company sent another driver, and we were able to continue the journey.

However, everyone understood that they were on the verge of death. That driving into an oncoming lane on a busy federal highway is a guaranteed death or, at best, severe injuries.

And unfortunately, such situations are quite typical on the roads of the whole world.

"A sleepy person cannot control his behavior while driving a car", - somnologist, Professor Alexander Belov said to Novye Izvestia, - People are so arranged that they "fall" into sleep, regardless of their will or the illusion that three cups of coffee guarantee him a safe ride. Consciousness turns off automatically - as a reaction to overload and lack of sleep. Driving while fatigued is no less dangerous in effect than drunk driving".

Scientists have found that 17-19 hours without sleep is comparable to the effect on the state of the driver, as well as 0.5 ppm of alcohol in the blood (in other words, this is the state of drinking half a liter of vodka!).

Three years ago, a large-scale sociological study was conducted in one of the European countries. According to him, every eighth driver falls asleep at the wheel. A survey of more than 20,000 drivers found another 37% who said they were so tired they could fall asleep at any moment.

In Russia, the situation is no better than in other countries. According to the oldest automotive magazine "Behind the wheel", which refers to a survey, 32% of drivers surveyed in Russia admitted that they fell asleep while driving, 3.8% of them woke up already from a collision or in a ditch.

- The trouble is that only 30% of the drivers surveyed practice the most effective method to overcome fatigue: stop the car and sleep for 20-30 minutes, - auto expert Igor Morzharetto said to "NI", - The rest prefer to keep moving at all costs. Some people drink tonic drinks to cheer themselves up, others turn on loud music, others start singing while driving... But judging by the accident statistics, this does not help everyone.

So it is not necessary to rely only on the consciousness of drivers. We need technical means that could prevent an emergency.

WHEN THE CAR THINKS INSTEAD OF THE DRIVER

In other words, the car itself is obliged to think for the driver (although not to replace him!). In turn, the authorities should adopt appropriate laws and technical regulations obliging automakers to install systems that reduce damage from fatigue while driving. This is the essence of the proposals of the author of the project "20 ideas for the development of Russia" Dmitry Davydov.

In his address to the public, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Mr. Davydov believes that the example of the European Union can be indicative for Russia. And we are talking about three devices approved by the European Parliament.

The first is the Alert Drowsiness and Attention Disorder (DDAW). The program downloaded to the on-board computer of the car monitors all the actions of the driver and, in case of danger, issues an alarm signal.

There is nothing revolutionary new in DDAW. The author of these lines has a 2013 Mercedes equipped with such a system - if the car feels something unusual in the behavior of the driver, then an icon with a cup of coffee and a sound signal appear on the instrument panel. This means that it is time to rest and be vigilant.

The second device is Lane Departure Warning (LDWS).

This technology tracks traffic in lanes on roads where markings are present. If the vehicle begins to deviate from its lane by 30 cm at a speed of 65 km / h and above without the turn signal on, then the system sends at least two of four signals: vibration, sound, visual or tactile, indicating the direction of unintended drift. Thus, it helps the driver to regain vigilance and prevent accidental departure from the desired path.

LDWS was not invented last night. The first production lane departure warning system in Europe was developed American by Iteris for commercial trucks Mercedes Actros. The system debuted in 2000 and is now available on many new cars, SUVs and trucks.

Finally, the third "safety fighter" is the Advanced Emergency Braking System (AEBS).

It automatically applies the brakes when the driver fails to react to an approaching collision hazard.

Conducted in the summer of 2016 by the American Automobile Association tests of autonomous emergency braking systems showed a very wide range of results. All systems automatically applied the brakes when the driver did not, but worked differently. Some of the systems were designed to avoid collisions, others only to reduce the severity of the accident. Although any reduction in speed before a collision gives the driver a big safety advantage, the experts noted. That is why since 2015 the presence of AEBS on trucks in the EU has become mandatory.

According to Dmitry Davydov, in Russia, two years after the publication of the relevant law, registration of new cars without the above three technological functions that protect the driver in a state of fatigue should be prohibited. It is also proposed three years after the issuance of the law to ban the operation of long-distance trucks and buses if they are not equipped with LDWS and AEBS systems. Over time, new cars equipped with a modern security system will gradually replace the old ones, and large-sized commercial vehicles will create fewer threats on the country's highways. As the fleet is updated, the number of accidents due to loss of control in driving a vehicle will decrease.

WHAT THE MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS AND MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY ANSWERED

The proposals published on the site "20 ideas for the development of Russia" were noticed in the departments responsible for road safety.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation agreed that road safety and work to improve legislation in this area are a "priority task":

"The priority tasks of the legislation in the field of road safety are the protection of life and health of citizens, the prevention of road accidents and the reduction of the severity of their consequences. Work to improve legislation in the field of road safety is carried out by the State traffic inspectorate on an ongoing basis", - writes the head of the department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation for working with citizens' appeals A.E. Goryunova.

True, as stated in the response of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and not the Ministry of Internal Affairs, is engaged in the development of technical regulations.

In turn, the Ministry of Industry and Trade understood from the proposals of Dmitry Davydov that he proposes to introduce active safety devices patented by him in Russia:

"The Department of the Automotive Industry and Railway Engineering of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia has considered your appeal on the introduction of vehicle security systems in Russia, submitted by the letter of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation dated February 17, 2022 No. 3 / 227703548947, and informs. In accordance with the current legislation of the Russian Federation the author and the patent owner have the exclusive right to use the patented invention, utility model or industrial design at their own discretion and, accordingly, the authors of inventions independently decide on the placement of their intellectual property However, it should be noted that the successful implementation of an invention is possible only when You, as the owner of a patent, will be able to prove to potential manufacturers and consumers of a new product the real benefits at all stages of its application..."

At the end of its response, the Ministry of Industry and Trade advises "... in order to develop and improve ideas to the level of projects and to select promising innovative solutions, FSUE NAMI opened an online platform called NAMI crowdsourcing. This project makes it possible to publish ideas and design solutions for discussion and improve them with like-minded people, as well as to receive an expert assessment from the specialists of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise "NAMI", - writes the Deputy Director of the Department of the Automotive Industry and Railway Engineering T. Parsadanyan.

In response, Dmitry Davydov clarified on his website:

“You rightly point out that any new invention should become in demand at all stages of application. That is why I propose to create this demand through the legislative regulation of safety standards for vehicles produced after the start of the law. In this case, within the period granted by law, high-tech engineering companies will register their inventions, enjoying all the benefits that you describe that the state provides. The law will create an incentive and indicate the requirements that the invention must meet..."

It is difficult to overestimate the relevance of Davydov's initiative, because almost every driver faces fatigue while driving.

At the same time, Davydov's proposal does not require any innovative developments, all technologies already exist and are being introduced into new cars. All that is needed is to prepare a regulatory framework for the adaptation of such technologies in Russia. However, judging by the answers from the state. bodies, the state is not interested in the speedy solution of this problem.

Today, one can only hope that, based on the experience of other countries and on the proposals of Dmitry Davydov, the state will hear and begin to take steps to introduce new technologies in the near future.

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