Risky On-the-road Driving in Night Shift Workers – UROP Spring Symposium 2021

Risky On-the-road Driving in Night Shift Workers

Nivedhita Nagarajan


Pronouns: she/her/hers

Research Mentor(s): Philip Cheng, Faculty
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Henry Ford Health System,
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 1 (10am-10:50am)
Breakout Room: Room 11
Presenter: 8

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This study investigates whether there is a relationship between risky driving behaviors in night shift workers and circadian rhythms, an internal biological clock in humans. The participants chosen for this study are night shift workers, meaning they work predominantly during the night hours. Data was collected through sleep diaries filled out by night shift workers for every time they went to sleep or took naps and actigraphs were worn to document rest and activity cycles as well as light exposure. Saliva samples were also collected and assayed for melatonin, a hormone important for elucidating circadian timing of sleep by determining the time of dim light melatonin onset and offset. As the data has not yet been analyzed, results have not yet been produced. However, the expected results for this study are that there will be a higher likelihood of risky driving behaviors shown through hard braking, aggressive acceleration, phone usage while driving, and speeding when driving during the time interval of dim light melatonin onset and offset compared to driving outside of this time interval. The main conclusion from the expected results would be that circadian misalignment independently from sleep affects driving behavior.

Authors: Nivedhita Nagarajan, Philip Cheng
Research Method: Clinical Research

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