Younger drivers executive functioning and the relationship with experiencing signs of sleepiness

Watling, Christopher N. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1440-2401 and Watling, Hanna A. (2021) Younger drivers executive functioning and the relationship with experiencing signs of sleepiness. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, 80. pp. 359-367. ISSN 1369-8478


Abstract

Young drivers are more likely to continue driving when experiencing signs of sleepiness and are over-represented in sleep-related crashes. Adolescence and early adulthood are characterised by comparatively poor executive functioning, and while previous research has demonstrated a link between poor executive functions and several risky driving behaviours, the relationship with sleepy driving is not well understood. Accordingly, the first aim of the current study was to examine the association between executive functions and experiencing the signs of driver sleepiness in a sample of young adult drivers. Additionally, young drivers who have less experience with driving while sleepy, may attribute less importance to the signs of sleepiness as an indicator of underlying sleepiness level. To test this assumption (aim two), the impact of experiencing signs of sleepiness on perceptions of the importance of those signs was examined. Participants included 118 young adults aged between 17 and 25 years, who completed an online survey measuring experiences with the signs of sleepiness while driving, executive functions, and demographic characteristics. This sample of young adults reported having considerable experience with several signs of sleepiness (i.e., yawning, mind wandering, and difficulty keeping eyes while driving). A linear regression analysis found that the demographic variables of age and hours driven per week, as well as the executive function constructs of organization, strategic planning, and impulse control were associated with experiencing signs or sleepiness. Moreover, having experienced more signs of sleepiness was associated with an increased likelihood in rating those signs as important indicators of sleepiness. The current findings suggest both that several high-level cognitive processes as well as levels of experience with driving when experiencing signs of sleepiness contribute to young peoples’ sleepy driving.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2022 06:00
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2022 05:18
Uncontrolled Keywords: driver sleepiness, risky driving behaviour, organization, strategic planning, impulse control, exposure
Fields of Research (2008): 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1702 Cognitive Sciences > 170201 Computer Perception, Memory and Attention
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1702 Cognitive Sciences > 170202 Decision Making
Fields of Research (2020): 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5204 Cognitive and computational psychology > 520402 Decision making
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420604 Injury prevention
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5204 Cognitive and computational psychology > 520401 Cognition
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920409 Injury Control
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280121 Expanding knowledge in psychology
27 TRANSPORT > 2703 Ground transport > 270311 Road safety
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trf.2021.05.003
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/46472

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