Sleep Deprivation Negatively Influences Driving Performance

1722 Words7 Pages
Road traffic injuries are estimated to be the 5th leading cause of death within the next 15 years, with the current yearly death toll reaching 1.3 million (Gresser, 2014; ASIRT, 2016). The average person is generally awake for around 16 hours a day, however sometimes within busy lives sleep may become a last priority between family and work, and thus extending the period a person is awake (Williamson & Feyer, 2000). In this essay, it will be argued that sleep deprivation negatively influences driving performance, as it has been found that driving for long periods of time or after sleep deprivation leads to poor driving performance as levels of alertness are low. Two empirical studies have been chosen to support this argument, by Otmani, Pebayle, Roge, and Muzet (2004) and Williamson and Feyer (2000). The general findings of both studies agreed that performance was impaired in sleep deprived subjects (Williamson et al. 2000; Otmani, Pebayle, Roge, & Muzet, 2004).

An article by Williams and Feyer (2000), investigated the effects of sleep deprivation and Blood Alcohol Concentrations (BAC) on driving performance. The aim was to compare these two factors to determine the level of sleep deprivation at which showed equivalent driving performance of hazardous BAC (Williamson & Feyer, 2000). To do this, two independent variables were manipulated – BAC and sleep deprivation. The levels tested for BAC included, 0.025%, 0.05%, 0.075& and 0.1%. For sleep deprivation the
Open Document