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Thorax. 2004 Sep;59(9):804-7.

Sleep. 5: Driving and automobile crashes in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Western Ontario, London Health Sciences Centre--Victoria Campus, 375 South Street, London, ON, Canada N6A 4G5.


Driving is a complex task involving distinct cognitive, perceptual, motor, and decision making skills. After placing the vehicle on the road, the driver must constantly survey the ever changing roadway environment to keep the vehicle in the lane and moving at an appropriate safe speed. This surveillance involves two distinct visual tasks: estimating and responding to the oncoming curvature and controlling lane position. Driving is therefore a divided attention task involving speed and lane control as well as monitoring. To do this in a safe manner requires careful attention and alertness which can be problematic for patients with obstructive sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome (OSAHS) or other sleep disorders.

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