Highway driving safety the day after using sleep medication: the direction of lapses and excursions out-of-lane in drowsy drivers.
Verster JC, Mooren L, Bervoets AC, and Roth T. Highway driving safety the day after using sleep medication: the direction of lapses and excursions out-of-lane in drowsy drivers. J Sleep Res 2017; 27(3);12622.
Journal of sleep research
The primary outcome measure of the on-road driving test is the Standard Deviation of Lateral Position. However, other outcome measures, such as lapses and excursions out-of-lane, also need to be considered as they may be related to crash risk. The aim of this study was to determine the direction of lapses and excursions out-of-lane (i.e. towards/into the adjacent traffic lane or towards/into the road shoulder). In total, data from 240 driving tests were re-analysed, and 628 lapses and 401 excursions out-of-lane were identified. The analyses revealed that lapses were made equally frequently over left (49.4%) and over right (43.3%). In contrast, excursions out-of-lane were almost exclusively directed over right into the (safer) road shoulder (97.3%). These findings suggest that drivers are unaware of having lapses, whereas excursions out-of-lane are events where the driver is aware of loss of vehicle control.