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J Sleep Res. 2005 Mar;14(1):17-20.

Impaired alertness and performance driving home from the night shift: a driving simulator study.

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Institute for Psychosocial Medicine, Karolinska Insitutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


Driving in the early morning is associated with increased accident risk affecting not only professional drivers but also those who commute to work. The present study used a driving simulator to investigate the effects of driving home from a night shift. Ten shift workers participated after a normal night shift and after a normal night sleep. The results showed that driving home from the night shift was associated with an increased number of incidents (two wheels outside the lane marking, from 2.4 to 7.6 times), decreased time to first accident, increased lateral deviation (from 18 to 43 cm), increased eye closure duration (0.102 to 0.143 s), and increased subjective sleepiness. The results indicate severe postnight shift effects on sleepiness and driving performance.

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