Crash risk perception of sleepy driving and its comparisons with drink driving and speeding: Which behavior is perceived as the riskiest?

Watling, Christopher N. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1440-2401 and Armstrong, Kerry A. and Smith, Simon S. and Obst, Patricia L. (2016) Crash risk perception of sleepy driving and its comparisons with drink driving and speeding: Which behavior is perceived as the riskiest? Traffic Injury Prevention, 47 (4). pp. 400-405. ISSN 1538-9588

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Abstract

Objective: Driver sleepiness is a major crash risk factor but may be underrecognized as a risky driving behavior. Sleepy driving is usually rated as less of a road safety issue than more well-known risky driving behaviors, such as drink driving and speeding. The objective of this study was to compare perception of crash risk of sleepy driving, drink driving, and speeding. Methods: Three hundred Australian drivers completed a questionnaire that assessed crash risk perceptions for sleepy driving, drink driving, and speeding. Additionally, the participants' perceptions of crash risk were assessed for 5 different contextual scenarios that included different levels of sleepiness (low, high), driving duration (short, long), and time of day/circadian influences (afternoon, nighttime) of driving. Results: The analysis confirmed that sleepy driving was considered a risky driving behavior but not as risky as high levels of speeding (P <.05). Yet, the risk of crashing at 4 a.m. was considered as equally risky as low levels of speeding (10 km over the limit). The comparisons of the contextual scenarios revealed driving scenarios that would arguably be perceived as quite risky because time of day/circadian influences were not reported as high risk. Conclusions: The results suggest a lack of awareness or appreciation of circadian rhythm functioning, particularly the descending phase of circadian rhythm that promotes increased sleepiness in the afternoon and during the early hours of the morning. Yet, the results suggested an appreciation of the danger associated with long-distance driving and driver sleepiness. Further efforts are required to improve the community's awareness of the impairing effects from sleepiness and, in particular, knowledge regarding the human circadian rhythm and the increased sleep propensity during the circadian nadir.


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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: 03 Mar 2022 00:10
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2022 01:53
Uncontrolled Keywords: Australian drivers; crask risk perception; drink driving; sleepy driving; speeding
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 (2020): 20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200408 Injury prevention and control
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/10.1080/15389588.2015.1096350
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/46489

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