Sleep-related collisions in United Arab Emirates

Accid Anal Prev. 2013 Jan;50:1052-5. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2012.08.010. Epub 2012 Aug 24.


Introduction: Road traffic collisions (RTC) are a major health problem in UAE. Sleep as a contributing factor to RTC is not well-studied in the Middle East.

Objective: We aimed to study to the proportion of RTC caused by sleep behind the wheel and the factors contributing to sleep related collisions (SRC).

Methods: Data of all hospitalized drivers who were involved in RTC in Al-Ain city were prospectively collected during the period of April 2006-October 2007. Variables studied included, driver's demographic data, time, date, location, mechanism of collision, speed at collision and whether sleepiness was a contributing factor as reported by the drivers. A direct logistic regression model was performed to define factors related to sleep while driving.

Results: 444 drivers (92% males) were involved in RTC during the study period. Sleepiness of drivers was a contributing factor in 5%. Most of the drivers experiencing SRC (79%) reported speeds of 100km/h or more during the collision. SRC was strongly over-represented during the month of Ramadan (42%) and in driving on highways (83%). A logistic regression model has shown that driving during the lunar month of Ramadan (p<0.0001, OR=6.36) and on highways (p=0.037, OR=3.75) were the most significant independent contributors to increasing the odds of SRC.

Conclusion: Sleep is an important contributing factor to RTC in UAE. Drivers should be advised to discontinue driving when feeling sleepy especially during the lunar month of Ramadan and while driving on highways.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration
  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Automobile Driving*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep Deprivation / epidemiology*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • United Arab Emirates / epidemiology