The Canberra Times reports that a new Australian study will examine the impact of sleep and stress on driving.
Lead researcher Kalina Rossa is seeking 100 drivers aged 18 to 25 to take part in the study, which will track their driving performance, map their travel and monitor their sleep and stress over seven days to identify the impact of fatigue on safe driving.
Ms Rossa said the study would monitor the stress and performance of young drivers with personal heart-rate monitors, accelerometers fitted to their vehicles, and GPS units mapping their travel distance and times.
“Young people, in particular, are very vulnerable to the effects of sleep loss and are overrepresented in sleepiness-related crashes,” Ms Rossa said.
“We know that their sleep is a bit all over the place because of work, uni, social commitments. Young people may be going to bed really late, having to wake up really early before work or uni commitments and we know that people who have been awake for more than 17 hours [have impaired] concentration and reaction times are similar to a blood alcohol content of 0.05.”