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Type: Journal article
Title: Increased rate of traffic law infringements during on-road metropolitan driving in obstructive sleep apnea patients
Author: Vakulin, A.
Catcheside, P.
van den Heuvel, C.
McEvoy, R.
Antic, N.
Baulk, S.
Citation: Sleep and Biological Rhythm, 2011; 9(3):144-149
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Issue Date: 2011
ISSN: 1446-9235
Statement of
Andrew Vakulin, Peter G Catcheside, Cameron J Van Den Heuvel, Nick A Antic, R Doug Mcevoy and Stuart D Baulk
Abstract: The aim of this study was to compare metropolitan on-road driving performance in patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and healthy age-matched controls. A driving assessor–based on-road driving test was performed at 2.00 pm in severe OSA patients and age-matched healthy controls. Main outcome measures included passing or failing the test, occurrence of minor traffic faults (e.g. not indicating, late braking, mirror checking) and traffic law infringements (e.g. failing to stop or give way, speeding). Compared to controls, there was no evidence of gross driving impairment or higher driving test failure rate in OSA patients. However, OSA patients demonstrated ∼60% more traffic law infringements (11.0 ± 1.8 versus 6.8 ± 1.0% of general driving tasks, p= 0.024), primarily reflecting repeated failure to stop at stop signs and/or traffic lights (p= 0.037). Patients with severe OSA break road laws more frequently than age-matched controls during a short city driving test, suggesting greater inattention and thus potentially higher motor vehicle accident risk. Further studies are needed to extend these early findings, which raise serious clinical and road safety concerns.
Keywords: obstructive sleep apnea; on-road driving; performance impairment
Rights: © 2011 The Authors. Sleep and Biological Rhythms © 2011 Japanese Society of Sleep Research
RMID: 0020111145
DOI: 10.1111/j.1479-8425.2011.00499.x
Appears in Collections:Medical Sciences publications

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