Risk factors associated with driver fatigue
Driver fatigue is a major risk for road accidents. However, debate still exists concerning risk factors associated with driver fatigue. Because of the complex nature of fatigue, this paper reports a study that investigated both physiological and psychological determinants of fatigue.
Three fatigue outcome measures were used, including a physiological, psychological and a
combined physiological and psychological measure. Fifty participants performed a driving simulator task till they showed symptoms of fatigue. Significant factors associated with physiological fatigue included higher levels of baseline delta activity and an extraverted personality. Factors related to the psychological fatigue outcome measure included sleepiness, low healthy lifestyle status, an extraverted and tension prone personality, and negative mood states. The combined fatigue outcome measure was associated with factors such as a tension prone and extraverted personality, low systolic blood pressure, and negative mood states. The findings reinforce the importance of assessing fatigue using a range of outcome measures in order to achieve a thorough understanding of what may predispose a driver to be at risk of fatigue related accidents. The study also highlights a priority of road safety research, that is, the need to establish definite risk factors associated with driver fatigue and develop fatigue
countermeasures that utilize these risk factors.