Study Objectives: Drowsiness leads to 20% of fatal road crashes, while inability to assess drowsiness has hampered drowsiness interventions. This study examined the accuracy of eye-blink parameters for detecting drowsiness related driving impairment in real time. Methods: Twelve participants undertook two sessions of 2-hour track-driving in an instrumented vehicle following a normal night's sleep or 32 to 34 hours of extended wake in a randomized crossover design. Eye-blink parameters and lane excursion events were monitored continuously. Results: Sleep deprivation increased the rates of out-of-lane driving events and early drive terminations. Episodes of prolonged eyelid closures, blink duration, the ratio of amplitude to velocity of eyelid closure, and John's Drowsiness Score (JDS, a composite score) were also increased following sleep deprivation. A timeon- task (drive duration) effect was evident for out-of-lane events rate and most eye-blink parameters after sleep deprivation. The JDS demonstrated the strongest associationwith the odds of out-of-lane events in the sameminute, whereasmeasures of blink duration and prolonged eye closure were stronger indicators of risk for out-of-lane events over longer periods of 5 minutes and 15 minutes, respectively. Eye-blink parameters also achieved moderate accuracies (specificities from 70.12% to 84.15% at a sensitivity of 50%) for detecting out-of-lane events in the same minute, with stronger associations over longer timeframes of 5 minutes to 15 minutes. Conclusions: Eyelid closure parameters are useful tools for monitoring and predicting drowsiness-related driving impairment (out-of-lane events) that could be utilized for monitoring drowsiness and assessing the efficacy of drowsiness interventions.
- Eye-blink parameters
- Sleep deprivation