Introduction: Sleep-deprived driving can be as dangerous as alcohol-impaired driving, however, little is known about attitudes toward sleep-deprived drivers. This study examined the extent to which young drivers regard sleep-deprived compared to drinking drivers as culpable for a crash, and how their perceptions of driving while in these conditions differ. Method: University student participants (N = 295; M = 20.4 years, SD = 1.3; 81% women) were randomly assigned to read one of five fatal motor-vehicle crash scenarios, which differed by aspects of the driver's condition. Culpability ratings for the drinking driver were higher than those for the sleep-deprived driver. Results: Qualitative findings revealed that driving while sleep-deprived was viewed as understandable, and driving after drinking was viewed as definitely wrong. The dangers of sleep-deprived driving remain under-recognized.
- drowsy driving
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality