Driver fatigue has received increased attention during recent years and is now considered to be a major contributor to approximately 15–30% of all crashes. However, little is known about fatigue in city bus drivers. It is hypothesized that city bus drivers suffer from sleepiness, which is due to a combination of working conditions, lack of health and reduced sleep quantity and quality. The overall aim with the current study is to investigate if severe driver sleepiness, as indicated by subjective reports of having to fight sleep while driving, is a problem for city based bus drivers in Sweden and if so, to identify the determinants related to working conditions, health and sleep which contribute towards this. The results indicate that driver sleepiness is a problem for city bus drivers, with 19% having to fight to stay awake while driving the bus 2–3 times each week or more and nearly half experiencing this at least 2–4 times per month. In conclusion, severe sleepiness, as indicated by having to fight sleep during driving, was common among the city bus drivers. Severe sleepiness correlated with fatigue related safety risks, such as near crashes.
SUMMARYA large number of accidents are due to the driver falling asleep at the wheel, but details of this link have not been studied on a real road. The purpose of the present study was to describe the development of sleepiness indicators, leading to the drive being terminated prematurely by the onboard expert driving instructor because of imminent danger. Eighteen individuals participated during a day drive and a night drive on a motorway (both 90 min). Eight drivers terminated (N) prematurely (after 43 min) because of sleep-related imminent danger [according to the driving instructor or their own judgement (two cases)]. The results showed very high sleepiness ratings (8.5 units on the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale) immediately before termination (<7 at a similar time interval for those 10 who completed the drive). Group N also showed significantly higher levels of sleep intrusions on the electroencephalography/electro-oculography (EEG/EOG) than those who completed the drive (group C). The sleep intrusions were increased in group N during the first 40 min of the night drive. During the day drive, sleep intrusions were increased significantly in group N. The night drive showed significant increases of all sleepiness indicators compared to the day drive, but also reduced speed and driving to the left in the lane. It was concluded that 44% of drivers during late-night driving became dangerously sleepy, and that this group showed higher perceived sleepiness and more sleep intrusions in the EEG/EOG.
SUMMARYThis study investigated the effects of two very commonly used countermeasures against driver sleepiness, opening the window and listening to music, on subjective and physiological sleepiness measures during real road driving. In total, 24 individuals participated in the study. Sixteen participants received intermittent 10-min intervals of: (i) open window (2 cm opened); and (ii) listening to music, during both day and night driving on an open motorway. Both subjective sleepiness and physiological sleepiness (blink duration) was estimated to be significantly reduced when subjects listened to music, but the effect was only minor compared with the pronounced effects of night driving and driving duration. Open window had no attenuating effect on either sleepiness measure. No significant long-term effects beyond the actual countermeasure application intervals occurred, as shown by comparison to the control group (n = 8). Thus, despite their popularity, opening the window and listening to music cannot be recommended as sole countermeasures against driver sleepiness.
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