Falling asleep while driving accounts for a considerable proportion of vehicle accidents under monotonous driving conditions.
Many of these accidents are related to work-for example, drivers of lorries, goods vehicles, and company cars.
Time of day (circadian) effects are profound, with sleepiness being particularly evident during night shift work, and driving home afterwards.
Circadian factors are as important in determining driver sleepiness as is the duration of the drive, but only duration of the drive is built into legislation protecting professional drivers.
Older drivers are also vulnerable to sleepiness in the mid-afternoon.
Possible pathological causes of driver sleepiness are discussed, but there is little evidence that this factor contributes greatly to the accident statistics.
Sleep does not occur spontaneously without warning.
Drivers falling asleep are unlikely to recollect having done so, but will be aware of the precursory state of increasing sleepiness ; probably reaching a state of fighting off sleep before an accident.
Self awareness of sleepiness is a better method for alerting the driver than automatic sleepiness detectors in the vehicle.
None of these have been proved to be reliable and most have shortcomings.
Putative counter measures to sleepiness, adopted during continued driving (cold air, use of car radio) are only effective for a short time. (...)
Mots-clés Pascal : Accident circulation, Voiture, Sommeil, Rythme circadien, Accident travail, Etiologie, Homme, Article synthèse
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Traffic accident, Passenger rail car, Sleep, Circadian rhythm, Occupational accident, Etiology, Human, Review
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 99-0233665
Code Inist : 002B16M. Création : 16/11/1999.