The increasing number of traffic accidents due to driver inattention has become a serious problem for society. Every year, about 45,000 people die and 1.5 million people are injured in traffic accidents in Europe. These figures imply that one person out of every 200 European citizens is injured in a traffic accident every year and that around one out 80 European citizens dies 40 years short of the life expectancy. It is known that the great majority of road accidents (about 90–95%) are caused by human error. More recent data has identified inattention (including distraction and falling asleep at the wheel) as the primary cause of accidents, accounting for at least 25% of the crashes . Road safety is thus a major European health problem. In the “White Paper on European Transport Policy for 2010,” the European Commission declares the ambitious objective of reducing by 50% the number of fatal accidents on European roads by 2010 (European Commission, 2001).
This chapter presents an original system for monitoring driver inattention and alerting the driver when he is not paying adequate attention to the road in order to prevent accidents. According to  the driver inattention status can be divided into two main categories: distraction detection and identifying sleepiness. Likewise, distraction can be divided in two main types: visual and cognitive. Visual distraction is straightforward, occurring when drivers look away from the roadway (e.g., to adjust a radio). Cognitive distraction occurs when drivers think about something not directly related to the current vehicle control task (e.g., conversing on a hands-free cell phone or route planning). Cognitive distraction impairs the ability of drivers to detect targets across the entire visual scene and causes gaze to be concentrated in the center of the driving scene. This work is focused in the sleepiness category. However, sleepiness and cognitive distraction partially overlap since the context awareness of the driver is related to both, which represent mental occurrences in humans .