Professional Drivers


Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome in Taxi Drivers

For her PhD thesis research, Dr Riz Firestone surveyed taxi drivers working for two companies in the Wellington Region and conducted three focus groups with drivers addressing their knowledge of, and attitudes towards, Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome and its treatment. This work was conducted with the support of the New Zealand Taxi Federation.

Funding: Health Research Council Pacific Doctoral Scholarship to Ridvan Firestone

PhD thesis (Massey University), Dr Ridvan Firestone (2006). Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome Among Taxi Drivers: Consequences and Barriers to Accessing Health Services.

Role of Fatigue in Truck Crashes on New Zealand Roads

In 2001-2002, a study of driver fatigue in truck crashes was conducted with the Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit of the New Zealand Police. CVIU officers distributed confidential questionnaires to 146 drivers involved in truck crashes, which were mailed by the drivers directly to the Sleep/Wake Research Centre where they were matched to crash reports (minus any information identifying individual drivers) from the LTSA crash database.

The study compared three different methods for identifying driver fatigue:

  1. the attending CVIU officer ticking a box on the crash report form;
  2. drivers ticking a box on the questionnaire to indicate that they thought their own fatigue was a factor in the crash; and
  3. analysis of each driver’s recent sleep and duty history (from the questionnaire), to see if they were likely to have been affected by the biological risk factors for fatigue.

A total of 17.6% of crashes were identified (by at least one of the methods) as involving driver fatigue. This is 3.5 times higher than indicated by the LTSA crash reports for the study period. Philippa Gander briefed staff in the four CVIU regional offices on the study findings and on the effects of fatigue and how to detect it.

Funding: The Road Safety Trust


back to top