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New Study To Focus On Tired Mums Behind The Wheel: QUT Photo:
Trevor Collett | May, 23 2013 | 1 Comment

The Queensland University of Technology is calling on new mothers to take part in a study of driver fatigue across different segments.

Following a preliminary investigation, results suggest that a lack of quality sleep experienced by the mothers of newborns was affecting their performance while driving.

Janelle Mackenzie from QUT's Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety Queensland (CARRS-Q) said that some new mums admitted to simple mistakes when behind the wheel as a result of sleep deprivation, resulting in safety concerns on the road.

"New mums reported inattention and difficulty concentrating while driving," Ms Mackenzie said.

"The study found on average, mothers reported that sleepiness affected their ability to get through their daily tasks a few days a week."

Mackenzie added that it was important to study the effects of sleeplessness affecting new mothers in the first six months following birth, not just problems immediately after birth.

"This initial investigation was a longitudinal study where we assessed new mums at six weeks, 12 weeks, 18 weeks and 24 weeks post-birth and we found that sleep disruption affected many mums at all stages," Ms Mackenzie said.

The university is seeking input from mothers who have given birth in the last six months.

Participants will be asked to complete an online questionnaire asking on sleep, sleepiness and driving since their baby was born.

To take part visit http://survey.qut.edu.au/f/176291/6471/ (link opens in new window).

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