Here’s a bit of a precautionary note for summer travelers, primarily those behind the wheel – a new study out of Melbourne has confirmed that, just as a baby can be rocked to sleep, car vibrations have the ability to make adult passengers inside the vehicle drowsy within 15 minutes.
Researchers from RMIT University analyzed 15 people who used a virtual simulator that replicated the experience of driving on a monotonous two-lane highway for one hour. The simulator was vibrated at different frequencies, with the participants experiencing both low and no vibration. Drowsiness was assessed via the patients’ heart rate variabilities. The data revealed that even among healthy, fully rested participants, 15 minutes of exposure to the driving vibrations made them drowsy, and that risk of collisions increases after just a half hour.
Study author Professor Stephen Robinson says, “To improve road safety, we hope that future car seat designs can build in features that disrupt this lulling effect and fight vibration-induced sleepiness”.
Be safe on the roads this summer!….if you’re driving – caffeine, caffeine, caffeine! ~ Jason