This qualitative investigation sought to identify the motivational factors that contribute to drowsy driving in college students and to discover important messaging strategies that may help prevent or reduce this behavior in this population.
Four focus groups of college students.
A large university in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area during the Fall 2016 term.
Twenty-six undergraduate students between the ages of 18 and 25 years.
Notes and transcripts from the focus group sessions were analyzed to identify recurring themes regarding attitudes, motivations, experiences, influences, and potential preventive messaging strategies related to drowsy driving.
Although most participants had heard of drowsy driving and were concerned about it, they did not associate it with legal risks and were more concerned about alcohol-impaired and distracted driving as crash risks. Participants viewed drowsy driving as a normal and unavoidable part of their lives over which they had little control. For potential anti–drowsy driving messaging strategies, participants preferred messages delivered via audiovisual or social media that featured graphic and emotional portrayals of crashes and their consequences. Participants also voiced strong support for preventive messaging strategies equating various degrees of sleep deprivation to known impairing levels of alcohol, as well as messages providing cues to action to actual drowsy drivers on roadways.
Increased enforcement, education, and public messaging campaigns are needed to increase knowledge and influence attitudes and opinions among young drivers about the dangers and social unacceptability of drowsy driving.
To read this article in full you will need to make a payment
Purchase one-time access:Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
One-time access price info
- For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
- For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'
Subscribe:Subscribe to Sleep Health: Journal of the National Sleep Foundation
Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
Already an online subscriber? Sign in
Register: Create an account
Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect
- Sleep-deprived motor vehicle operators are unfit to drive: a multidisciplinary expert consensus statement on drowsy driving.Sleep Health. 2016; 2: 94-99
- Traffic Safety Facts Crash Stats: Drowsy Driving. DOT HS 811 449.U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Washington, DC2011
- Asleep at the wheel—the road to addressing drowsy driving.Sleep. 2017; 40 ([zsx001])
- Risk of motor vehicle accidents related to sleepiness at the wheel: a systematic review and meta-analysis.Sleep. 2017; 40 ([zsx134])
- Prevalence of Motor Vehicle Crashes Involving Drowsy Drivers, United States, 2009–2013.AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Washington, DC2014
- The scope and nature of the drowsy driving problem in New York state.Accid Anal Prev. 1996; 28: 511-517
- Summary of Findings: 2005 Sleep in America Poll.National Sleep Foundation, Washington, DC2005
- Asleep at the Wheel: The Prevalence and Impact of Drowsy Driving.AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Washington, DC2010
- Drowsy Driving Continues to Be a Problem on the Roads: 2012 Drowsy Driving Fact Sheet [Press Release]. 2012
- Drowsy driving—19 states and the District of Columbia, 2009-2010.Morb Mortal Wkly Rep [MMWR]. 2013; 61: 1033-1037
- Drowsy driving and risk behaviors—10 states and Puerto Rico, 2011-2012.Morb Mortal Wkly Rep (MMWR). 2014; 63: 557-562
- Characteristics of crashes attributed to the driver having fallen asleep.Accid Anal Prev. 1995; 27: 769-775
- Intention and willingness to drive drowsy among university students: an application of an extended theory of planned behavior model.Accid Anal Prev. 2016; 93: 113-123
- Descriptive epidemiology of dozing and driving in a college student population.J Am Coll Health. 1999; 47: 157-162
- Patterns and consequences of inadequate sleep in college students: substance use and motor vehicle accidents.J Adolesc Health. 2010; 46: 610-612
- SAFE-D: sleep, alertness and fatigue education for drivers.http://www.aasmnet.org/safed.aspxDate: 2012
- DrowsyDriving.Org.http://drowsydriving.orgDate: 2013
- Driver Reviver.http://www.driverreviver.com.au/Date: 2008
- Sleep education for school: drowsy driving.
- Drowsy driving: drive awake.
- Healthy people 2020, sleep health—objectives.http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topicsobjectives2020/objectiveslist.aspx?topicId=38Date: 2010Date accessed: August 31, 2017
- Asleep at the Wheel: A National Compendium of Efforts to Eliminate Drowsy Driving. DOT HS 812 352.U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Washington, DC2017
- Sleep, law, and policy.in: Cappuccio F.P. Miller M.A. Lockley S.W. Sleep, Health, and Society: From Aetiology to Public Health. Oxford University Press, Oxford2010: 417-434
- Legal implications of sleep loss.in: Kushida C.A. Encyclopedia of Sleep. vol. 1. Academic Press, Waltham, MA2013: 335-342
- Legal implications of circadian rhythm sleep disorders.in: Reference Module in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Psychology. Elsevier, 2017
- A qualitative study of college students' perceptions of risky driving and social influences.Traffic Inj Prev. 2016; 17: 122-127
- The theory, practice, and evaluation of the phenomenological method as a qualitative research procedure.J Phenomenol Psychol. 1997; 28: 235-260
- Insufficient sleep in adolescents and young adults: an update on causes and consequences.Pediatrics. 2014; 134: e921-e932
- Sleep quality and motor vehicle crashes in adolescents.J Clin Sleep Med. 2010; 6: 41-45
- Sleep-deprived young drivers and the risk for crash: the DRIVE prospective cohort study.JAMA Pediatr. 2013; 167: 647-655
- Subjective and predicted sleepiness while driving in young adults.Accid Anal Prev. 2005; 37: 1066-1073
- Deterring the Drinking Driver: Legal Policy and Social Control.(Revised and Updated ed. ed) Lexington Books, Lexington, MA1984
- Can progress in reducing alcohol-impaired driving fatalities be resumed? Results of a workshop sponsored by the Transportation Research Board, alcohol, other drugs, and transportation committee (ANB50).Traffic Inj Prev. 2016; 17: 771-781
- Reviews of evidence regarding interventions to reduce alcohol-impaired driving.Am J Prev Med. 2001; 21: 66-88
- Fatigued and drowsy driving: a survey of attitudes, opinions and behaviors.J Safety Res. 2008; 39: 303-309
- Fatigue, alcohol and performance impairment.Nature. 1997; 388: 235
Published online: December 01, 2017
Accepted: October 14, 2017
Received in revised form: August 31, 2017
Received: May 9, 2017
☆Some of the results reported in this article were presented at Public Health Research@Maryland 2017 at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD, and at the 3rd Annual Johns Hopkins University Sleep & Circadian Research Day in Baltimore, MD.
© 2018 National Sleep Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.