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Studies from University of New South Wales Provide New Data on Risk Management (Are drivers aware of sleepiness and increasing crash risk while...

August 1, 2014

Studies from University of New South Wales Provide New Data on Risk Management (Are drivers aware of sleepiness and increasing crash risk while driving?)

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Insurance Weekly News -- Research findings on Risk Management are discussed in a new report. According to news reporting originating in Sydney, Australia, by VerticalNews journalists, research stated, "Drivers are advised to take breaks when they feel too tired to drive, but there is question over whether they are able to detect increasing fatigue and sleepiness sufficiently to decide when to take a break. The aim of this study was to investigate the extent to which drivers have access to cognitive information about their current state of sleepiness, likelihood of falling asleep, and the implications for driving performance and the likelihood of crashing."

The news reporters obtained a quote from the research from the University of New South Wales, "Ninety drivers were recruited to do a 2 h drive in a driving simulator. They were divided into three groups: one made ratings of their sleepiness, likelihood of falling asleep and likelihood of crashing over the next few minutes at prompts occurring at 200s intervals throughout the drive, the second rated sleepiness and likelihood of falling asleep at prompts but pressed a button on the steering wheel at any time if they felt they were near to crashing and the third made no ratings and only used a button-press if they felt a crash was likely. Fatigue and sleepiness was encouraged by monotonous driving conditions, an imposed shorter than usual sleep on the night before and by afternoon testing. Drivers who reported that they were possibly, likely or very likely to fall asleep in the next few minutes, were more than four times more likely to crash subsequently. Those who rated themselves as sleepy or likely to fall asleep had a more than 9-fold increase in the hazards of a centerline crossing compared to those who rated themselves as alert. The research shows clearly that drivers can detect changes in their levels of sleepiness sufficiently to make a safe decision to stop driving due to sleepiness."

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "Therefore, road safety policy needs to move from reminding drivers of the signs of sleepiness and focus on encouraging drivers to respond to obvious indicators of fatigue and sleepiness and consequent increased crash risk."

For more information on this research see: Are drivers aware of sleepiness and increasing crash risk while driving? Accident Analysis and Prevention, 2014;70():225-234. Accident Analysis and Prevention can be contacted at: Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd, The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford OX5 1GB, England. (Elsevier -; Accident Analysis and Prevention -

Our news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained by contacting A. Williamson, University of New South Wales, Sch Math & Stat, Sydney, NSW, Australia. Additional authors for this research include R. Friswell, J. Olivier and R. Grzebieta.

Keywords for this news article include: Sydney, Australia, Australia and New Zealand, Risk Management

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Source: Insurance Weekly News

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