Excessive Daytime sleepiness in Drivers of Heavy Vehicles

  • Paulo Nunes Departamente Fisiologia Clínica/Cardiopneumologia, Escola Superior de saúde Dr. Lopes Dias, IPCB, Castelo Branco
  • Lucinda Sofia Carvalho Departamente Fisiologia Clínica/Cardiopneumologia, Escola Superior de saúde Dr. Lopes Dias, IPCB, Castelo Branco
  • Alexandre Pereira Departamente Fisiologia Clínica/Cardiopneumologia, Escola Superior de saúde Dr. Lopes Dias, IPCB, Castelo Branco & Centro Hospitalar Cova da Beira, Quinta do Alvito, 6200-251 Covilhã



Excessive Daytime Sleepiness; Heavy trucks drivers; Accidents; Epworth Sleepiness Scale.


Introduction: Excessive daytime sleepiness is an entity that has a negative impact on physical and cognitive performance, since this reduces the individual's ability to respond to stimuli. Professional drivers are undoubtedly a class exposed to this entity, endangering their life and others.

Objective: To investigate the prevalence of Excessive Daytime Sleepiness in drivers of heavy trucks and passenger vehicles, comparing it with accidents/near misses accidents and also relate these variables with the type of vehicle.

Methods: this study evaluated 148 drivers, of which 68 were drivers of heavy trucks vehicles, 58 of passenger vehicles and 22 of both trucks. It was used a questionnaire to assess sleep habits, driving habits and Epworth Sleepiness Scale, at different geographic points Portugal.

Results: The prevalence of sleepiness in drivers is 37.8 % and it was correlated with the total time in bed (r = -0.169, p = 0.040) and with the time of driving of heavy trucks (r = 0.151, p = 0.068). It was found that 14.2 % of accidents and 27.8 % of near misses accidents were due to sleepiness and highly significant differences in sleepiness and near misses were found (p < 0.001). There was dependence between the type of vehicle and accidents (p = 0.046).

Conclusion: In the group of evaluated drivers there is Excessive Daytime Sleepiness, which leads to the significantly increasing risk of accidents/near misses accidents, as well as a higher incidence of accidents in truck drivers compared to drivers of passenger vehicles.

Biografias Autor

Paulo Nunes, Departamente Fisiologia Clínica/Cardiopneumologia, Escola Superior de saúde Dr. Lopes Dias, IPCB, Castelo Branco
Licenciado Curso de Cardiopneumologia pela Escola Superior de Saúde Dr. Lopes Dias
Lucinda Sofia Carvalho, Departamente Fisiologia Clínica/Cardiopneumologia, Escola Superior de saúde Dr. Lopes Dias, IPCB, Castelo Branco

Escola Superior de saúde Dr. Lopes Dias

Departamente: Fisiologia Clínica / Cardiopneumologia


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