Final report on the portable computerized assessments of sleepy drivers in operational environments.
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Final report on the portable computerized assessments of sleepy drivers in operational environments.

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  • English

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    • Abstract:
      Excessive daytime sleepiness underpins a large number of the reported motor vehicle crashes. Fair and accurate field

      measures are needed to identify at-risk drivers who have been identified as potentially driving in a sleep deprived state on

      the basis of erratic driving behavior. The purpose of this research study was to evaluate a set of cognitive tests that can

      assist Motor Vehicle Enforcement Officers on duty in identifying drivers who may be engaged in sleep impaired driving.

      Currently no gold standard test exists to judge sleepiness in the field. Previous research has shown that Psychomotor

      Vigilance Task (PVT) is sensitive to sleep deprivation. The first goal of the current study was to evaluate whether

      computerized tests of attention and memory, more brief than PVT, would be as sensitive to sleepiness effects. The second

      goal of the study was to evaluate whether objective and subjective indices of acute and cumulative sleepiness predicted

      cognitive performance. Findings showed that sleepiness effects were detected in three out of six tasks. Furthermore, PVT

      was the only task that showed a consistent slowing of both ‘best’, i.e. minimum, and ‘typical’ responses, median RT due to

      sleepiness. However, PVT failed to show significant associations with objective measures of sleep deprivation (number of

      hours awake). The findings indicate that sleepiness tests in the field have significant limitations. The findings clearly

      show that it will not be possible to set absolute performance thresholds to identify sleep-impaired drivers based on

      cognitive performance on any test. Cooperation with industry to adjust work and rest cycles, and incentives to comply

      with those regulations will be critical components of a broad policy to prevent sleepy truck drivers from getting on the


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