Sleepy driver near-misses may predict accident risks.

Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery and Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA.
Sleep (Impact Factor: 5.06). 03/2007; 30(3):331-42.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To quantify the prevalence of self-reported near-miss sleepy driving accidents and their association with self-reported actual driving accidents.
A prospective cross-sectional internet-linked survey on driving behaviors.
Dateline NBC News website.
Results are given on 35,217 (88% of sample) individuals with a mean age of 37.2 +/- 13 years, 54.8% women, and 87% white. The risk of at least one accident increased monotonically from 23.2% if there were no near-miss sleepy accidents to 44.5% if there were > or = 4 near-miss sleepy accidents (P < 0.0001). After covariate adjustments, subjects who reported at least one near-miss sleepy accident were 1.13 (95% CI, 1.10 to 1.16) times as likely to have reported at least one actual accident as subjects reporting no near-miss sleepy accidents (P < 0.0001). The odds of reporting at least one actual accident in those reporting > or = 4 near-miss sleepy accidents as compared to those reporting no near-miss sleepy accidents was 1.87 (95% CI, 1.64 to 2.14). Furthermore, after adjustments, the summary Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) score had an independent association with having a near-miss or actual accident. An increase of 1 unit of ESS was associated with a covariate adjusted 4.4% increase of having at least one accident (P < 0.0001).
A statistically significant dose-response was seen between the numbers of self-reported sleepy near-miss accidents and an actual accident. These findings suggest that sleepy near-misses may be dangerous precursors to an actual accident.


Available from: Rayleigh Ping-Ying Chiang, Jun 02, 2015
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    Iranian Journal of Public Health 09/2014; 43(3):117. · 0.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sleepiness in drivers is an important factor contributing to road traffic accidents. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of sleepiness among car drivers involved in road traffic accidents in Saudi Arabia, and its impact on the accidents. From January to June 2008, all drivers admitted to King Abdulaziz Medical City in Jeddah following their involvement in road traffic accidents, were interviewed within 24 hrs from admission using a questionnaire. Sleepiness was estimated using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale and Stanford Sleepiness Scale. Of all the drivers interviewed, 10.3% reported sleepiness as the main cause of accident; 27.9% reported snoring at night; 47% usually went to sleep after midnight; and 72.1% slept 6 hrs or less per night. Of the drivers with a Stanford Sleepiness Scale of 4-7, 41.1% attributed their accidents to sleepiness, and among drivers with an Epworth Sleepiness Scale of ≥ 10, 70% attributed their accidents to factors other than sleepiness. Most drivers in the study sample had poor sleeping habits, and sleepiness as a risk factor for road traffic accidents was more prevalent when quantified using subjective validated measures.
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: The prevalence of sleepy driving and sleep-related accidents (SRA) varies widely, and no data exist regarding the prevalence of sleepy driving in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, this study was designed to determine the prevalence and predictors of sleepy driving, near-misses, and SRA among drivers in Saudi Arabia. Materials And Methods: A questionnaire was developed to assess sleep and driving in detail based on previously published data regarding sleepy driving. The questionnaire included 50 questions addressing socio-demographics, the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), driving items, and the Berlin Questionnaire. In total, 1,219 male drivers in public places were interviewed face-to-face. Results: The included drivers had a mean age of 32.4 ± 11.7 years and displayed a mean ESS score of 7.2 ± 3.8. Among these drivers, 33.1% reported at least one near-miss accident caused by sleepiness. Among those who had actual accidents, 11.6% were attributed to sleepiness. In the past six months, drivers reported the following: 25.2% reported falling asleep at least once during, driving and 20.8% had to stop driving at least once because of severe sleepiness. Young age, feeling very sleepy during driving, and having at least one near-miss accident caused by sleepiness in the past six months were the only predictors of accidents. Conclusion: Sleepy driving is prevalent among male drivers in Saudi Arabia. Near-miss accidents caused by sleepiness are an important risk factor for car accidents and should be considered as a strong warning signal of future accidents.
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