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Fatigued and drowsy driving: A survey of attitudes, opinions and behaviors

Journal of Safety Research
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.jsr.2007.12.007
  • Fatigued Driving
  • Drowsy Driving
  • Sleepiness At The Wheel
  • Prevalence
  • Opinion Poll
  • Musicology


Abstract Introduction There is evidence suggesting that the problem of fatigued or drowsy driving is an important contributor to road crashes. However, not much is known about public perceptions of the issue. The purpose of this study was to obtain information on attitudes, opinions, and professed practices related to fatigued or drowsy driving. Methods The data were gathered by means of a public opinion poll among a representative sample of 750 Ontario drivers. Results A majority of drivers (58.6%) admitted that they occasionally drive while fatigued or drowsy. Of greater importance, 14.5% of respondents admitted that they had fallen asleep or “nodded off” while driving during the past year. Nearly 2% were involved in a fatigue or drowsy driving related crash in the past year. Respondents were also asked about measures they take to overcome fatigue or drowsiness. Results indicate that relatively ineffective measures such as opening the window or playing music are the most popular; the most effective preventive measure - taking a rest — is the least popular. Discussion The prevalence of the behavior, coupled with the ineffective prevention measures favored by the public suggest there is a need for increasing their level of awareness and knowledge about the problem. Impact on Industry Results from this study further emphasize the importance of increasing the fatigued and drowsy driving knowledge base and the need to educate the public about it.

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