Drowsiness and Driving Performance on Commuter Trips

Driver fatigue is a major road safety problem. While much is known about the effects of fatigue and the factors that contribute to it, fatigue on commuter trips has received comparatively little attention in road safety. Most interventions have focused on longer trips, while investigations of commuting have typically examined particular groups, such as shift workers. This study examined the effects of mild sleep deprivation on driving performance in simulated driving tasks in the morning and evening. Three groups of participants with different levels of sleep deprivation (Group 1: no deprivation; Group 2: two hours deprivation; Group 3: four hours deprivation) drove in a simulator for 45 min in the morning and evening, following a practice session the previous day. Results showed that participants reported feeling more drowsy in the afternoon, and performance impairments (increased lane deviations) were most evident in the morning for those with sleep deprivation. Measurements of eye closure did not reflect drowsiness in participants, despite performance impairments. These results suggest that mild levels of sleep deprivation (2 h), which many people regularly experience, can result in poor on-road performance, and that these effects are present in the morning, and on relatively short trips. These results warrant follow-up in naturalistic and on-road studies.


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  • Accession Number: 01677475
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 19 2018 3:04PM