Videos of drowsy drivers on YouTube give useful insights into how people perceive sleepy driving as a common yet controllable behavior, suggested a new study.
Author Ashleigh Filtness from Australia's Queensland University of Technology's (QUT) Center for Accident Research and Road Safety said, "In-vehicle footage relating to driver fatigue is present on YouTube and is actively engaged with by viewers. My study found a mix of both criticism and sympathy for fatigued drivers and a willingness to share advice on staying awake, which highlights the perception that people view sleepy driving as a common yet controllable behavior."
The researchers analyzed 442 uploaded YouTube videos relating to fatigue between 2009 and 2014. They found in most cases driver fatigue was portrayed as dangerous. A total of 107 of these videos were in-vehicle filming.
However, Filtness said, "Those that trivialized the issue of sleepy driving were more popular and received more views and evoked more comments. Of the in-vehicle filming, dashcam footage was the most prevalent type of video and had the most potential to create impact with the highest views per video per day. What is concerning is that 15% of these in-vehicle videos were drivers recording themselves while driving. Video blogging or vlogging distracts the driver in the same way as texting and mobile phone use, and adds to the danger already being experienced by fatigued driving."
The study findings were presented at the 2015 Australasian Road Safety Conference held from October 14 to 16, 2015, at the Australasian College of Road Safety and Austroads, Gold Coast.