Sleepiness : how a biological drive can influence other risky road user behaviours

Watling, Christopher N., Armstrong, Kerry A., & Smith, Simon S. (2013) Sleepiness : how a biological drive can influence other risky road user behaviours. In Proceedings of the 2013 Australasian College of Road Safety (ACRS) National Conference, Australasian College of Road Safety (ACRS), National Wine Centre of Australia, Adelaide, SA, pp. 1-12.

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The Safe System approach to road safety utilises a holistic view of the interactions among vehicles, roads and road users. Yet, the contribution of each of these factors to crashes is vastly different. The role of road users is widely acknowledged as an overwhelming contributor to road crashes. Substantial gains have been made with improvements to vehicle and roads over a number of years. However, improvements of the road user’s behaviour has been (in some cases) less substantial. A road user behaviour that is relatively unregulated is driver sleepiness, which is part of the ‘fatal five’ of risky road user behaviours. The effect of sleepiness is ubiquitous – sleepiness is a state that most, if not all drivers on our roads has experienced, and is habitually exposed to. The quality and quantity of daily sleep is integral to our level of neurobehavioural performance during wakefulness and as such can have a compounding effect on a number of other risky driving behaviours. This paper will discuss the potential influence of sleepiness as an interceding factor for a number of risky driving behaviours. Little effort has been given to increasing awareness of the deleterious and wide ranging effects that sleepiness has on road safety. Given the wide ranging influence of sleepiness, improvements of ‘sleep health’ as a protective factor at the community or individual level could lead to significant reductions in road trauma and increases of general well being. A discussion of potential actions to reduce sleepiness is required if reductions of road trauma are to continue.

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ID Code: 63820
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Australian drivers, Risky driving behaviours, Sleepiness, Neurobehavioural performance, Protective factors, Sleep health
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified (111799)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Biological Psychology (Neuropsychology Psychopharmacology Physiological Psychology) (170101)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > OTHER PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (179900) > Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified (179999)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 30 Oct 2013 22:16
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2014 09:14

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