Daytime driving simulation performance and sleepiness in obstructive sleep apnoea patients

Fabio Pizza, Sara Contardi, Monica Ferlisi, Susanna Mondini, Fabio Cirignotta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Sleepiness related car accidents are common in obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS) patients. The objective measurements of sleepiness used in clinical setting quantify the tendency to fall asleep in quiet situations that are completely different from driving. Methods: We studied 30 OSAS patients with subjective (subjective sleepiness scales) and objective (multiple sleep latency test, MSLT) sleepiness measurements, associated with driving simulation test (DST), previously validated in young healthy subjects. The results of subjective and objective sleepiness tests were compared with simulated driving performance in order to evaluate the suitability of our DST for measuring alertness. Results: Subjective and objective sleepiness measurements were significantly correlated with driving performance on the simulator. The most significant correlates of sleepiness were the measures of the primary vehicle control task on the simulator: lane position variability and crash data. The comparison of DST and MSLT results suggested our driving simulated approach could be used to evaluate daytime sleepiness in the clinical setting of OSAS patients. Conclusions: Our DST is a suitable objective tool to detect sleepiness in OSAS patients, and could be useful in the clinical setting of sleep medicine and research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)602-609
Number of pages8
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008


  • Crashes
  • Driving simulation test
  • MSLT
  • OSAS
  • Sleepiness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation
  • Safety Research
  • Law
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Chemical Health and Safety


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