Annals of Thoracic Medicine Official publication of the Saudi Thoracic Society, affiliated to King Saud University
 
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 236-241

Prevalence of sleep-related accidents among drivers in Saudi Arabia


1 University Sleep Disorders Center, College of Medicine and the National Plan for Science and Technology, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Population Health, Division of Health and Behavior, Center for Healthful Behavior Change, NYU Langone Medical Center, Clinical and Translational Research Institute, New York, USA

Correspondence Address:
Ahmad S BaHammam
University Sleep Disorders Center, College of Medicine and National Plan for Science and Technology, King Saud University, Box 225503, Riyadh - 11324
Saudi Arabia
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DOI: 10.4103/1817-1737.140138

PMID: 25276244

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Introduction: The prevalence of sleepy driving and sleep-related accidents (SRA) varies widely, and no data exist regarding the prevalence of sleepy driving in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, this study was designed to determine the prevalence and predictors of sleepy driving, near-misses, and SRA among drivers in Saudi Arabia. Materials And Methods: A questionnaire was developed to assess sleep and driving in detail based on previously published data regarding sleepy driving. The questionnaire included 50 questions addressing socio-demographics, the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), driving items, and the Berlin Questionnaire. In total, 1,219 male drivers in public places were interviewed face-to-face. Results: The included drivers had a mean age of 32.4 ± 11.7 years and displayed a mean ESS score of 7.2 ± 3.8. Among these drivers, 33.1% reported at least one near-miss accident caused by sleepiness. Among those who had actual accidents, 11.6% were attributed to sleepiness. In the past six months, drivers reported the following: 25.2% reported falling asleep at least once during, driving and 20.8% had to stop driving at least once because of severe sleepiness. Young age, feeling very sleepy during driving, and having at least one near-miss accident caused by sleepiness in the past six months were the only predictors of accidents. Conclusion: Sleepy driving is prevalent among male drivers in Saudi Arabia. Near-miss accidents caused by sleepiness are an important risk factor for car accidents and should be considered as a strong warning signal of future accidents.


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