Drowsy Driving Headband - Better than Coffee
Updated: Apr 28
It is estimated that 328,000 car accidents result from drowsy driving every year. Since I have family members who are on the road for several hours every week, I wanted to see if I could create something that would combat drowsiness while driving.The results of my experimentation gave me the Buzzware Alertness Band.
This headband uses high frequency vibration motors, located on the temples, to provide external stimuli directly to the head. Most people who try the headband report increased alertness, reduced fatigue, and improved focus.
I use this band to help keep me alert while driving, but others who have tried it claim that it alleviates headaches (especially from hangovers), gets them going in the morning, and keeps them motivated at work. Could all of this just be placebo? Possibly, but give this project a try and see for yourself!
What you’ll need…
220 Ohm resistor
Hot Glue Gun
3D printer or 3D printing service
If you have access to a 3D printer, you can access my STL file here and print the frame for this yourself. Otherwise, services like Shapeways, or Xometry can print these for you for a pretty reasonable price. As long as you get a somewhat flexible material like PLA, you should be ok.
Once the frame is printed, it is fairly easy to install all the other components!
First I installed the battery contacts into the electronics box on the rear of the band. I hot glued the spring portion on the left, and the flat portion on the right. Make sure the tabs of the contacts are sticking up through the holes to the top of the box.
Next I hot glued the On/Off switch in place in the electronics box cutout.
I ran one line of project wire from the negative battery contact, through the frame and soldered it to one end of vibration pad 1. I then soldered another wire to the other end of vibration pad 1 and ran the wire through the frame. I then soldered this end to one wire of vibration pad 2. Next I ran another wire from the other end of vibration pad 2 back through the frame, into the electronics box, and soldered it to the far end of the On/Off Switch. Finally, I soldered the 220 Ohm resistor between the middle contact of the On/Off switch and the positive battery terminal. In the end, your circuit should look something like this.
I removed the adhesive backing from the vibration pads and stuck them to the ends of the frame where it will meet my temples.
Finally I installed 3 button cell batteries in between the contacts.
When the switch is flipped to the ON position, the pads will begin to vibrate.
Let me know if this form of external stimuli helps keep you alert while driving, waking up, working, or any other activity that requires concentration.
Obvious disclaimer that you should never operate heavy machinery or perform dangerous tasks while tired. This is not intended to allow you to neglect normal sleep. Please use at your own risk.