Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Jan 5;113(1):176-81. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1510383112. Epub 2015 Dec 22.

High risk of near-crash driving events following night-shift work.

Author information

1
Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Departments of Medicine and Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115; Division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115;
2
Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Departments of Medicine and Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115; Department of Respiratory & Sleep Medicine, Institute for Breathing & Sleep, Austin Health, Heidelberg, VIC 3084, Australia;
3
Center for Behavioral Sciences, Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, Hopkinton, MA 01748;
4
Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Departments of Medicine and Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115; Division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115; Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences, School of Psychological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia.
5
Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Departments of Medicine and Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115;
6
Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Departments of Medicine and Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115; Division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115; charles_czeisler@hms.harvard.edu.

Abstract

Night-shift workers are at high risk of drowsiness-related motor vehicle crashes as a result of circadian disruption and sleep restriction. However, the impact of actual night-shift work on measures of drowsiness and driving performance while operating a real motor vehicle remains unknown. Sixteen night-shift workers completed two 2-h daytime driving sessions on a closed driving track at the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety: (i) a postsleep baseline driving session after an average of 7.6 ± 2.4 h sleep the previous night with no night-shift work, and (ii) a postnight-shift driving session following night-shift work. Physiological measures of drowsiness were collected, including infrared reflectance oculography, electroencephalography, and electrooculography. Driving performance measures included lane excursions, near-crash events, and drives terminated because of failure to maintain control of the vehicle. Eleven near-crashes occurred in 6 of 16 postnight-shift drives (37.5%), and 7 of 16 postnight-shift drives (43.8%) were terminated early for safety reasons, compared with zero near-crashes or early drive terminations during 16 postsleep drives (Fishers exact: P = 0.0088 and P = 0.0034, respectively). Participants had a significantly higher rate of lane excursions, average Johns Drowsiness Scale, blink duration, and number of slow eye movements during postnight-shift drives compared with postsleep drives (3.09/min vs. 1.49/min; 1.71 vs. 0.97; 125 ms vs. 100 ms; 35.8 vs. 19.1; respectively, P < 0.05 for all). Night-shift work increases driver drowsiness, degrading driving performance and increasing the risk of near-crash drive events. With more than 9.5 million Americans working overnight or rotating shifts and one-third of United States commutes exceeding 30 min, these results have implications for traffic and occupational safety.

KEYWORDS:

EEG; drowsy driving; fatigue; infrared oculography; sleep

PMID:
26699470
PMCID:
PMC4711869
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1510383112
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center