The Bordeaux Sleepiness Scale (BOSS): a new questionnaire to measure sleep-related driving risk

J Clin Sleep Med. 2023 May 1;19(5):957-965. doi: 10.5664/jcsm.10470.


Study objectives: Sleepiness is a well-known risk factor for traffic accidents. Our study presents a new questionnaire, the Bordeaux Sleepiness Scale (BOSS), specifically designed to evaluate sleep-related driving risk in patients with sleep disorders.

Methods: The BOSS was designed by gathering data on sociodemographics, sleepiness, driving items, and traffic accident exposure (kilometers driven) in the past year of 293 patients followed for sleep disorders at a French sleep clinic. It was then validated on data from a large population-based cohort of 7,296 highway drivers. Its performance was compared to the Epworth sleepiness scale and to self-reported episodes of severe sleepiness at the wheel. Receiver operating characteristic curves were computed.

Results: The sensitivity and specificity of the BOSS (cutoff = 3) to predict sleep-related near-misses or accidents was, respectively, 82% and 74%, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.83. In a cohort of patients and a large population-based cohort, the area under the curve of the BOSS was significantly larger than that of the Epworth sleepiness scale (P < .001). Although the areas under the curve were equivalent between the BOSS and sleepiness at the wheel, the specificity of the BOSS was higher.

Conclusions: The BOSS scale combining exposure (kilometers driven) and self-perception of situational sleepiness provides a simple and reliable evaluation of sleep-related driving risk. This short, specific questionnaire should be promoted as a first-line tool to evaluate the risk of traffic accidents in sleepy patients.

Citation: Philip P, Micoulaud-Franchi J-A, Taillard J, et al. The Bordeaux Sleepiness Scale (BOSS): a new questionnaire to measure sleep-related driving risk. J Clin Sleep Med. 2023;19(5):957-965.

Keywords: French drivers; accident risk; questionnaire; sleep disorders; sleepiness.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic
  • Automobile Driving*
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep
  • Sleep Wake Disorders*
  • Sleepiness
  • Surveys and Questionnaires