This study explores the perception of drowsiness in crashes where the driver has fallen asleep. Subjects in the study were 312 drivers involved in recent North Carolina crashes who were reported by the investigating officer to have fallen asleep prior to crashing; 71% were male, with a mean age of 35.5 years. Subjects were contacted for a telephone interview and asked how drowsy they felt prior to crashing and how important they thought drowsiness was in their crash. Additional questions addressed work and sleep schedules, sleep quality, daytime sleepiness, driving exposure, and the specific circumstances surrounding the crash. Interview data were combined with the police crash report data, and factors associated with perceived drowsiness prior to crashing were identified using both crude and adjusted logistic regression models. From the results of this study, it is concluded that some drivers feel drowsy, yet keep driving until they crash. They may be complacent because they have often driven drowsy in the past without incident. Education must convince these drivers to heed their perceptions of drowsiness. Other drivers, however, report feeling only slightly or not at all drowsy prior to crashing. This possibility should be shared with the driving public, along with information on high risk circumstances for sleep crashes and the importance of preventive rather than reactive countermeasures.

  • 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: 00923460
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 16 2002 12:00AM