Demographic factors, fatigue, and driving accidents: An examination of the published literature

Lee Di Milia, Michael H. Smolensky, Giovanni Costa, Heidi D. Howarth, Maurice M. Ohayon, Pierre Philip
Accident Analysis & Prevention. 2011-03-01; 43(2): 516-532
DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2009.12.018

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1. Accid Anal Prev. 2011 Mar;43(2):516-32. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2009.12.018.

Demographic factors, fatigue, and driving accidents: An examination of the
published literature.

Di Milia L(1), Smolensky MH, Costa G, Howarth HD, Ohayon MM, Philip P.

Author information:
(1)Central Queensland University, QLD, Australia.

This article reviews the literature pertaining to the association between
demographic variables (e.g., age, sex, race, socio-economic status) with fatigue,
and when feasible, accident risk. It also explores their potential influence and
interaction with some working arrangements, commute time, personality
characteristics, and circadian chronotype. Fatigue has been implicated in a range
of impairments that can have detrimental effects on individuals, and it is
differentially associated with conventional demographic variables. However,
several major methodological limitations prevent clear conclusions. First, there
is absence of a shared definition both within and across disciplines. Second,
although fatigue has been investigated using a variety of diverse designs, they
have either been too weak to substantiate causality or lacked ecological
validity. Third, while both subjective and objective measures have been used as
dependent variables, fatigue has been more often found to be more strongly linked
with the former. Fourth, with the exception of age and sex, the influence of
other demographic variables is unknown, since they have not yet been
concomitantly assessed. In instances when they have been assessed and included in
statistical analyses, they are considered as covariates or confounders; thus,
their contribution to the outcome variable is controlled for, rather than being a
planned aspect of investigation. Because the interaction of demographic factors
with fatigue is largely a neglected area of study, we recommend greater
interdisciplinary collaborations, incorporation of multiple demographic variables
as independent factors, and use of within-participant analyses. These
recommendations would provide meaningful results that may be used to inform
public policy and preventive strategies.

Copyright © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2009.12.018
PMID: 21130214 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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