Drowsy Driving Among Older Adults

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving is related to more than 100,000 motor vehicle crashes each year which result in about 40,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths. Analysis of crash records has been used to identify groups among whom drowsy driving is considered most prevalent (e.g., young people, males, shift workers, and people with undiagnosed or untreated sleep disorders). However, such analyses are limited because they typically estimate drowsy driving crashes based on single-vehicle, run-off-road, drift-off-road, or drift-out-of-lane events occurring between midnight and 6:00 AM in which alcohol is not involved. Thus, crash records may not accurately reflect the prevalence and factors related to drowsy driving among older adults who tend to avoid night driving and so have fewer nighttime crashes in general. In addition, because of declines in critical driving skills resulting from age-related medical conditions, drowsy-driving crashes among older drivers are more likely to be attributed to declining cognitive, perceptual, or motor skills than to drowsiness. There is a need for more detailed information about drowsy driving crashes among the older adult population. The overarching goal of the project is to gain a better understanding of the prevalence of, and factors related to, drowsy driving among older adults in the US through a nationally representative survey. The project is intended to be completed in two phases. The first phase will involve developing and pilot testing the survey. The second phase will involve administering the survey to a representative sample of older adults in the US as part of national surveys conducted at the University of Michigan (U-M) Institute for Social Research (ISR), such as the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) conducted bi-annually. We are asking for M-CASTL support for the first phase of this research project. Specific project tasks related to development of the survey will include: 1) conducting a detailed literature review and synthesis of topics related to older adult drowsy driving; 2) convening a multidisciplinary panel of experts to explore issues identified in the literature review; 3) conduct focus groups to further identify salient topics to be included in the survey; 4) based on results from the tasks 1-3, develop the survey instrument; and 5) pilot test the survey instrument.


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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01461089
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Center for Advancing Safe Transportation Throughout the Lifespan
  • Contract Numbers: F026754
  • Files: UTC, RIP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 1:39PM