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Sleep. 2001 Sep 15;24(6):688-94.

Prevalence of driver sleepiness in a random population-based sample of car driving.

Author information

1
Injury Prevention Research Centre, Department of Community Health, The University of Auckland, New Zealand. j.connor@auckland.ac.nz

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVES:

To obtain reliable estimates of the prevalence of driver sleepiness.

DESIGN:

A two-stage cluster sampling technique was employed to obtain a sample of car drivers representative of time spent driving on public roads in a geographically defined region. Data were collected by interviewer-administered questionnaire, and analysed in accordance with the sampling design.

SETTING:

The Auckland region of New Zealand, between April 1998 and July 1999.

PARTICIPANTS:

588 drivers of cars and other light vehicles recruited at 69 roadside survey sites.

MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS:

Of 746 eligible participants, 79% were interviewed, 12% refused, 8% were untraceable, and 1% were unable to give informed consent. From this sample we estimated that 58.7% of driving was undertaken by men. The vast majority of driving (90.8%) was undertaken by drivers with Epworth Sleepiness scores in the normal range (<10), but a significant minority was undertaken by drivers with one or more characteristics likely to impair alertness. 3.1% had < or = 5 hours sleep in the previous 24 hours, and 21.9% had < or = 4 full nights sleep in the previous week. The triad of symptoms associated with sleep apnea (snoring, choking, and breathing pauses while sleeping) was present in 1.6%; and 8.1% worked a pattern of shifts likely to interfere with normal sleep.

CONCLUSION:

The prevalence of sleepiness amongst a random sample of New Zealand car driving was low, and less than suggested by previous studies.

PMID:
11560182
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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