Keeping the driver wide-awake: Alertness Assistant against sudden sleep at the wheel The BMW Group's vehicle researchers are testing a system intended to reduce the risk of sudden sleep often affecting the driver for a few seconds. A study conducted by the General Federation of the German Insurance Industry shows that such cases of sudden sleep are responsible for 24 per cent of all fatal accidents on German Autobahns. Now an alertness assistant developed by the BMW Group and Würzburg University in cooperation with Bosch is able to determine how alert or tired the driver of a car is at any given point in time.
Hrmm... I'll give you that. The OTHER 76% of fatal accidents are caused by people driving too friggin' close together at speeds exceeding 160 Km/H. I'd be the first one to say that I am not comfortable with someone at 7 meters behind me at any speed above 60 Km/H (I don't trust the human to be fast enough to react in time, that's all). Here I was, on the AutoBahn, happily zooming along in mid-speed lane (grumble, engine break-in period, mumble), followed by a VW riding on what could only be described as "mountain-bike-width" tires behind me at 110 MpH at 20 feet off my car's rear bumper and I'm saying to myself "hrmm... What is the driver behind me THINKING? 'I'm following a BMW, with about 10x the tire contact area then my car, with who knows what else BMW threw in as an assistance to the driver, at a speed so high that in the time it takes my eyes to relay the information to my brain that the red break lights activated (1/15th of a second or thereabout) I'd have traveled 3 meters (160000 meters/hour = 44 1/4th meters/second = 3 meters in 1/15th of a second) and by the time I smash my foot into the break pedal I'd be so far the BMW's ass, I'd be ahead of him...", and all this is NORMAL? :banghead:
Then I came to find out that yeah, that's 'normal'. When accidents happen on AutoBahns, 100-200 cars get ... in touch with themselves and other cars around them.