SYDNEY, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- A world-first trial of a roadside test to measure motorists' fatigue will be undertaken by Australia's Victoria Police.
Finding a way to keep tired drivers off the road has been a priority of Victoria Police due to fatigue being a factor in a third of serious traffic accidents in Victoria, killing 50 people and seriously injuring another 300 every year.
Until recently, law enforcement's only weapon in combatting fatigued drivers has been to advise sleepy drivers to pull over and take a powernap as there was no scientific method to determine if a driver was too tired to drive.
However, new technology that tracks eye movements, including the duration of blinks and how eyes scan the road offers the best hope yet of measuring fatigue levels.
Melbourne researchers are now working to develop a portable version of the "smart-glasses" technology which can test drivers' fatigue roadside, similar to tests already carried out by police to test if a motorist is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The concept has already been supported by Victoria Police and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC).
Mark Howard, the lead researcher of the project at Austin Health, said drivers often failed to realize that they were too tired to drive.
"People have run off the road, hit a tree, and nearly killed themselves," Howard told News Limited on Monday.
A report released by the Sleep Health Foundation on Monday said that almost 30 percent of Australian adults drove while drowsy at least once a month and 20 percent had fallen asleep at the wheel.