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Accident Risk Factors among Brazilian Shift-Working Truck Drivers

Objective: We investigated the relationships among parameters related to accident involvement, sleep patterns and health habits of shift-working Brazilian truck drivers.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 205 Brazilian truck drivers were invited and accepted to complete our survey based on the validated structured “UNIFESP Sleep Questionnaire”. A multiple correspondence analysis was used to assess the clustering of evaluated potential categorical variables with involvement in automobile accidents, aiming to examine associations between these variables.

Results: Our results generated two distinct truck drivers’ profiles. For the first profile, we observed that drivers who reported involvement in accidents appeared similar to those who reported drug usage, driving more than 14 to 19 hours without rest, excessive sleepiness, falling asleep while driving and sleep complaints. Conversely, the second profile showed that subjects who were not involved in accidents were similar to subjects who reported no sleep complaints or excessive sleepiness, did not falling asleep while driving and did not use drugs. We have also observed that the variable contributing the most to these two profiles was overnight travel, followed by falling asleep while driving and sleep complaints. Our data also demonstrated that exposure to accidents was 4 times higher for drivers who habitually drive during the night. We have also observed a protective effect in terms of accident involvement for drivers who usually work fewer than 12 hours per day.

Conclusion: Our results highlighted how adequate sleep habits, as well as, the consequences related to sleep disturbances, are associated with drug consumption and accident involvement by truck drivers.


Marco Túlio de Mello

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