Nigerian Journal of Psychiatry

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Sleeping At The Wheel And Psychoactive Substance Use Among Commercial Passenger Drivers In Sokoto, Nigeria

MA Yunusa, A Obembe


Background: One of the causes of road traffic accident include sleeping at the wheel Commercial motor drivers in Nigeria are responsible for the more than 90% transportationof people and goods. Hence, the need to focus attention at sleep related vehicle accidents. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of sleeping at the wheel and psychoactive substance use among commercial drivers in Sokoto in Nigeria.
Methods: In this cross sectional descriptive study, one hundred and sixty seven commercial motor drivers were assessed using questionnaire assessed using questionnaire sociodemographic variables, sleeping at the wheel and use of psychoactive substances to prevent sleep.
Results: All the subjects were male of mean age 43.41 (±8.04) years, married (84%) to >1 wife (45.4%). Driving was the only job among 106 (63.5%), mean hour of getting to destination was 14.5 and mean hour of resting during the journey was 1.74 (2.5). Prevalence of psychoactive substance use was 52 (33.5%) and that of falling asleep on wheel was 9%. To prevent sleeping at the wheel psychoactive substance used included marijuana, caffeine, and alcohol. Factors associated with high prevalence of sleeping at the wheel included long hours of driving =40 hours per week, types of substance use to prevent sleep, and previous use of alcohol.
Conclusion: There would be need for policy formulation and implementation with regard to hours of sleep and rest by commercial drivers, use of monitoring device to detect psychoactive substance use. A larger nationwide study is suggested to confirm the findings of this study

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