The on-road experiences and awareness of sleepiness in a sample of Australian highway drivers: A roadside driver sleepiness study

Watling, Christopher N. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1440-2401 and Armstrong, Kerry A. and Smith, Simon S. and Wilson, Adrian (2015) The on-road experiences and awareness of sleepiness in a sample of Australian highway drivers: A roadside driver sleepiness study. Traffic Injury Prevention, 17 (1). pp. 24-30. ISSN 1538-9588

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Abstract

Objective: Driver sleepiness contributes substantially to road crash incidents. Simulator and on-road studies clearly reveal an impairing effect from sleepiness on driving ability. However, the degree to which drivers appreciate the dangerousness of driving while sleepy is somewhat unclear. This study sought to determine drivers' on-road experiences of sleepiness, their prior sleep habits, and personal awareness of the signs of sleepiness. Methods: Participants were a random selection of 92 drivers traveling on a major highway in the state of Queensland, Australia, who were stopped by police as part of routine drink driving operations. Participants completed a brief questionnaire that included demographic information, sleepy driving experiences (signs of sleepiness and on-road experiences of sleepiness), and prior sleep habits. A modified version of the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS) was used to assess subjective sleepiness in the 15 min prior to being stopped by police. Results: Participants' ratings of subjective sleepiness were quite low, with 90% reporting being alert to extremely alert on the KSS. Participants were reasonably aware of the signs of sleepiness, with many signs of sleepiness associated with on-road experiences of sleepiness. Additionally, the number of hours spent driving was positively correlated with the drivers' level of sleep debt. Conclusions: The results suggest that participants had moderate experiences of driving while sleepy and many were aware of the signs of sleepiness. The relationship between driving long distances and increased sleep debt is a concern for road safety. Increased education regarding the dangers of sleepy driving seems warranted.


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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 00:19
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2022 00:19
Uncontrolled Keywords: Australian drivers; awareness of sleepiness; driver sleepiness; risky driving; roadside survey; sleep habits
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 > 520404 Memory and attention
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/10.1080/15389588.2015.1033690
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/46493

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