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Title: A brief assessment of eye blink drowsiness immediately prior to or following driving detects drowsiness related driving impairment.
Austin Authors: Cori, Jennifer M ;Wilkinson, Vanessa E ;Soleimanloo, Shamsi Shekari;Westlake, Justine;Stevens, Bronwyn ;Rajaratnam, Shantha M W;Howard, Mark E 
Affiliation: Institute for Breathing and Sleep
Respiratory and Sleep Medicine
CRC for Alertness, Safety and Productivity, Victoria, Australia
School of Psychological Sciences and Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
Issue Date: 7-Dec-2023
Date: 2022
Publication information: Journal of Sleep Research 2023; 32(3)
Abstract: Drowsy driving is a major cause of fatal and serious injury motor vehicle accidents. The inability objectively to assess drowsiness has hindered the assessment of fitness to drive and the development of drowsy driving regulations. This study evaluated whether spontaneous eye blink parameters measured briefly pre- and post-drive could be used to detect drowsy driving impairment. Twelve healthy participants (6 female) drove an instrumented vehicle for 2 h on a closed-loop track during a rested (8-10 h awake) and an extended wake condition (32-34 h awake). Pre- and post-drive, the participants completed a 5 min eye blink task, a psychomotor vigilance task (PVT), and the Karolinska sleepiness scale (KSS). Whole drive impairment was defined as >3.5 lane departures per hour. Severe end of drive impairment was defined as ≥2 lane departures in the last 15 min. The pre-drive % of time with eyes closed best predicted the whole drive impairment (area under the curve [AUC] 0.87). KSS had similar prediction ability (AUC 0.85), while PVT reaction time (AUC 0.72) was less accurate. The composite eye blink parameter, the Johns drowsiness scale was the best retrospective detector of severe end of drive impairment (AUC 0.99). The PVT reaction time (AUC 0.92) and the KSS (AUC 0.93) were less accurate. Eye blink parameters detected drowsy driving impairment with an accuracy that was similar to, or marginally better than, PVT and KSS. As eye blink measures are simple to measure, are objective and have high accuracy, they present an ideal option for the assessment of fitness for duty and roadside drowsiness.
DOI: 10.1111/jsr.13785
ORCID: 0000-0003-1484-7117
Journal: Journal of Sleep Research
Start page: e13785
PubMed URL: 36478313
ISSN: 1365-2869
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: fatigue
fit to drive
fit to work
lane departures
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