Analyzed relation between sleep disorders and risk perception by drivers with disorder

October 28, 2010

Within the framework of a recent research project, University of Granada researchers will analyse how sleep disorders affect risk perception in driving. To such purpose, three last-generation simulators provided by the Faculty of Psychology will be employed.

The purpose of the first study will be to analyse how a specific sleep disorder-obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)- affects risk perception in driving, as well as the efficacy of the therapies in development to treat it. Concretely, University of Granada researchers will study how different treatments for OSA improve risk perception in simulated driving. To such purpose, they employed the motorcycle simulator Honda Riding Trainer (HRT) using a multidimensional methodology (psychological, physical, behavioural and subjective measurements).

At present, the University of Granada counts on the only research centre in Europe devoted to study the mental mechanisms leading individuals to risky behaviours when riding a motorcycle. This study could be useful in the future to modify and avoid such behaviours. The Faculty of Psychology was provided with three last-generation simulators in 2009 usually employed to study this type of disorders, within the framework of an agreement signed with the company Honda Motor Co. (Europe).

Innovative software

The simulators have an innovative software developed by Honda Motor Co. The research group led by Gualberto Buela Casal (University of Granada Psychophysiology Laboratory), and the Department of Experimental Psychology professor Antonio Cándido, and made up of researchers Leandro L. Di Stasi, Carolina Díaz, Raúl Quevedo Blasco and David Montalbán will analyse how sleep disorders affect risk perception in driving.

A number of studies have proven that there is an unquestionable association between sleep-related breathing disorders and traffic accidents. In addition, many authors point out that individuals with different sleep patterns show different performance, attention and energy, and traffic accidents are 2 or 3 times more recurrent in this type of patients.
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Contact: Dr. Gualberto Buela-Casal. University of Granada Psychophysiology Laboratory. Phone: +34 958 249 559 / 958 243 750. E-mail: gbuela@ugr.es

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University of Granada

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