Driving while Sleepy as Bad as Drink Driving
May 31, 2012 at 10:58 AM
A study carried out in France into the common denominators within “Serious Traffic Crashes” and by serious we mean where someone has had a stay in hospital of over 24 hours as a result has shown some interesting results.
The study was carried out in France by the following eminent group.
Sylvie Blazejewski, PhD; Pierre-Olivier Girodet, MD, PhD; Ludivine Orriols, PhD; Aurore Capelli, PhD; Nicholas Moore, MD, PhD; for the CESIR Group
They interviewed almost 700 drivers between 2007 and 2009 who were involved in crashes in the Limoges, Bordeaux, or Toulouse area of France. Each driver was given a full questionnaire to complete and data from the patient files was also used, such as blood alcohol levels.
They also had access to the police reports so they knew if the driver was responsible for the crash or not.
All the people who took part in it gave consent to their data and reports being used.
Summary of the report
As you would expect certain aspects of the likelihood of being responsible for the crash were pretty obvious.
Younger people were much more likely to cause an accident as were people under the influence of alcohol and its more likely that a motorcycle rider is more at risk than a car driver.
The most surprising aspect of the study is just how dangerous it is to be driving while tired. This turned out to be about as bad as driving whilst over the legal alcohol limit.
Night time crashes were four 4x more likely in the age group 18 to 29 years old.
A total of just fewer than 30% of drivers admitted having a drink within 24 hours of the crash, and 20% had done so in the 6 hours prior to the crash.
Twice as many men were responsible for crashes while under the influence of alcohol than women.
Also twice as many men admitted to driving while tired than women.
The biggest surprise from the report was the dangers of driving while tired which was almost a big a problem as alcohol.
French driving laws have recently been changed so that people have to carry an un used breathalyser testing kit in the car with them, but how long before someone comes up with a “sleepiness test”?