Resident Physicians are at Increased Risk for Dangerous Driving after Extended-duration Work Shifts: A Systematic Review.
Cureus. 2019 Jun 05;11(6):e4843
Authors: Mak NT, Li J, Wiseman SM
BACKGROUND: Resident physicians often work longer than 24 consecutive hours with little or no sleep. A systematic review of the literature was conducted to investigate the risk of resident physician motor vehicle collisions (MVC), and dangerous driving, after extended-duration work shifts (EDWS).
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A keyword search was performed for original research articles evaluating any aspect of driving safety following EDWS for the resident physician population. Two authors independently reviewed articles for inclusion. Subsequent independent data abstraction and quality appraisal were carried out. Five articles met the study inclusion criteria.
RESULTS: The quality of the evidence was low to very low. Results were not pooled due to study heterogeneity. Residents reported between 2.3 to 3.8 hours of sleep during EDWS. Three survey-based studies identified an increased risk of MVCs and falling asleep at the wheel after EDWS. One study associated weekly cumulative sleep hours lost with the risk of falling asleep while driving. Both driving simulation and survey studies linked EDWS with MVCs. Notably, a driving simulation study found an increase in crash frequency in male residents post-EDWS. Additionally, a survey reported that the risk of an MVC post-EDWS increased by 16.2% per shift worked in a month.
CONCLUSION: The period following EDWS is associated with an increased risk of potentially life-threatening driving safety risks for resident physicians. These observations warrant careful consideration. They suggest that there is a need for greater awareness and action in order to avoid the occupational and public health risks of driving after EDWS.
PMID: 31410326 [PubMed]