The effects of sleep deprivation on simulated driving, neurocognitive functioning and brain activity in professional drivers

Professional drivers are particularly susceptible to the effects of sleepiness, due to chronic or acute sleep deprivation, time-on-task effects, driving at circadian low points, and increased daytime sleepiness resulting from sleep disorders. Population surveys of heavy vehicle drivers indicates that a small proportion of drivers use pharmaceutical means in order to help maintain alertness during long-haul trips. Despite the known benefits of amphetamine-type stimulants on reducing fatigue and sleepiness, epidemiological evidence suggests that a large percentage of fatally injured professional drivers test positive to amphetamines. The primary objective of the current thesis was to determine the underlying causes of these sleep- and drug-related accidents. The results highlight the detrimental influence of sleep deprivation on a range of driving-related processes. The experienced, professional drivers in this study were able to recognise signs and symptoms of sleepiness, and acted upon these indicators appropriately. Measures of driving-related performance on both simulated driving, and simple neurocognitive tasks were negatively affected by sleep loss, although there is likely to be a discrepancy between on-road and laboratory behaviour. Event related potentials (ERP) and neuroimaging findings in the present thesis suggest that these sleep-related behavioural effects are caused by small changes in neural processing and neural recruitment. Sleep deprivation can have large implications for safe driving, and this study highlights the importance of promoting and educating the driving public about the dangers of driving when sleepy. (a)

  • Corporate Authors:


    P.O. BOX 218
    HAWTHORN,   Australia  3122
  • Authors:
    • Jackson, M L
  • Publication Date: 2009-5


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 2 FILES

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01146879
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 24 2009 8:25AM