For the large majority of the driving public, sleepiness is likely due to one of three causes: not getting enough sleep on a routine basis; getting much less sleep than needed on a short-term or single night basis; or not sleeping when one's biological clock is programmed to sleep. These three causes are the focus of the current study. Population-based samples of drivers in recent crashes were identified from North Carolina crash report forms as they were received at the Division of Motor Vehicles office in Raleigh, North Carolina. All cases in which the driver of a vehicle was coded as either "asleep" or "fatigued" by the investigating officer were identified, along with a random sample of control crash drivers. The identified drivers were then contacted for telephone interviews to obtain information on their work/sleep schedules and circumstances surrounding their crashes. Chronic sleep loss, acute sleep loss, and nighttime sleep disruption were all found to be important contributors to sleep-related motor vehicle crashes. Although certain segments of the population, including shiftworkers and persons with undiagnosed sleep disorders, are known to be at high risk for involvement in sleep-related motor vehicle crashes, the vast majority of such crashes involve individuals who either do not get enough sleep on a regular basis, got far too little sleep the night before their crash, and/or were trying to drive when their biological clocks were programmed for sleep.

  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • The 45th annual meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine (AAAM) was not held due to the events of September 11, 2001. However, the papers prepared for the 45th annual meeting are published as the AAAM 45th Annual Proceedings.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine (AAAM)

    P.O. Box 4176
    Barrington, IL  United States  60011-4176
  • Authors:
    • Stutts, J C
    • Wilkins, J W
    • Vaughn, B V
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 2001


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00923459
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 16 2002 12:00AM