Development and Testing of Countermeasures for Fatigue Related Highway Crashes: Focus Group Discussions with Young Males, Shift Workers, and Shift Work Supervisors

Driver fatigue, inattention, and sleepiness have recently become the focus of research efforts aimed at preventing motor vehicle fatalities. Data that describe the extent of fall-asleep motor vehicle crashes are difficult to obtain due to the absence of objective criteria (e.g., blood test) and the inability to debrief victims of fatal fall-asleep crashes. However, anecdotal reports suggest that these types of crashes and "near-miss" crashes warrant attention. The purpose of the present exploratory research is to better understand the nature of drowsy, fatigued or sleepy driving that may lead to fall-asleep automobile crashes. For the purposes of this report, the authors examine the one antecedent to these types of crashes, drowsy driving. The primary objectives of this project were to (1) describe the antecedents to drowsy driving, (2) profile groups of people that may be at elevated risk for involvement in a fall-asleep motor vehicle crash and (3) develop informational campaigns that would be appealing and educational to these groups. Describing the extent of the problem was not an objective for this project. At the outset of this work, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in conjunction with the National Center for Sleep Disorders Research and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, convened a panel of experts to examine the problem of drowsy driving. The panel identified young men and shift workers as two groups that are likely to be at increased risk for fall-asleep automobile crashes, based upon the available evidence. The present report focuses on the problem of drowsy driving in these two high risk groups. The purpose of the project is to (1) better understand the nature of drowsy, fatigued or sleepy driving that may lead to fall-asleep automobile crashes, (2) identify opportunities to intervene to decrease the risk of drowsy driving, and (3) identify barriers to implementation of potentially successful interventions. This research was completed by the Harvard School of Public Health under a cooperative agreement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and in collaboration with Global Exchange, Inc. of Bethesda, Maryland.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices;

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01605541
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Contract Numbers: DTNH22-96-H-05307
  • Created Date: Jul 12 2016 10:27AM