Insomnia is associated with road accidents. Further evidence from a study on truck drivers

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Abstract

© 2017 Garbarino et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Background: Sleep-related problems are known risk factors for road accidents. However, very few studies have investigated the role played by insomnia and its components, and no data are available for a population of occupational drivers at risk, such as the truck driver category. Objective: To measure the prevalence and impact of insomnia on motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) and near-miss accidents (NMAs) in 949 truck drivers. Design: Cross-sectional survey. Results: Insomnia affected 27.5% of the sample. Compared to other drivers, in the 3 years prior to the study, truck drivers with insomnia had reported a significantly higher number of MVAs; they had also reported a greater number of NMAs in the previous 6 months. After correction for the presence of obstructive sleep apnea, excessive daytime sleepiness, short sleep duration, and other concurrent diseases, insomniac truck drivers had an almost two-fold risk of driving accidents (OR: 1.82, CI 95%:1.33–2.49) and a more than three-fold increased risk of near-miss accidents (OR: 3.35, CI95%:2.06–5.45) compared to non-insomniac drivers. Conclusion: Insomnia emerged as an independent risk factor for MVAs and NMAs. We strongly advise screening commercial drivers for signs and symptoms of insomnia in order to improve health and safety on the road.

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Garbarino, S., Magnavita, N., Guglielmi, O., Maestri, M., Dini, G., Bersi, F. M., … Durando, P. (2017). Insomnia is associated with road accidents. Further evidence from a study on truck drivers. PLoS ONE, 12(10). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0187256

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