Sleepiness, near-misses and driving accidents among a representative population of French drivers.
Journal of Sleep Research. 2010-04-07; 19(4): 578-584
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1. J Sleep Res. 2010 Dec;19(4):578-84. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2869.2009.00818.x.
Sleepiness, near-misses and driving accidents among a representative population
of French drivers.
Sagaspe P(1), Taillard J, Bayon V, Lagarde E, Moore N, Boussuge J, Chaumet G,
Bioulac B, Philip P.
(1)INRETS-LCPC, LEPSIS, Paris, France.
Study objectives were to determine the prevalence of sleepy driving accidents and
to explore the factors associated with near-miss driving accidents and actual
driving accidents in France. An epidemiological survey based on telephone
interviews was conducted on a representative sample of French drivers. The
questionnaire included sociodemographics, driving and sleep disorder items, and
the Epworth sleepiness scale. Of 4774 drivers (response rate: 86%), 28%
experienced at least one episode of severe sleepiness at the wheel (i.e.
requiring to stop driving) in the previous year; 11% of drivers reported at least
one near-miss accident in the previous year (46% sleep-related); 5.8% of drivers
reported at least one accident, 5.2% of these being sleep related (an estimate of
90,000 sleep-related accidents per year in France). Sleepy driving accidents
occurred more often in the city (53.8%), during short trips (84.6%) and during
the day (84.6%). Using logistic regression, the best predictive factor for
near-misses was the occurrence of at least one episode of severe sleepiness at
the wheel in the past year [odds ratio (OR) 6.50, 95% confidence interval (CI),
5.20-8.12, P < 0.001]. The best predictive factors for accidents were being young
(18-30 years; OR 2.13, 95% CI, 1.51-3.00, P < 0.001) and experiencing at least
one episode of severe sleepiness at the wheel (OR 2.03, 95% CI, 1.57-2.64, P <
0.001). Sleepiness at the wheel is a risk factor as important as age for traffic
accidents. Near-misses are highly correlated to sleepiness at the wheel and
should be considered as strong warning signals for future accidents.
© 2010 European Sleep Research Society.
PMID: 20408921 [Indexed for MEDLINE]