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Driver sleepiness on YouTube: A content analysis

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posted on 25.02.2016, 11:19 by A.N. Hawkins, Ashleigh FiltnessAshleigh Filtness
Driver sleepiness is a major contributor to severe crashes and fatalities on our roads. Many people continue to drive despite being aware of feeling tired. Prevention relies heavily on education campaigns as it is difficult to police driver sleepiness. The video sharing social media site YouTube is extremely popular, particularly with at risk driver demographics. Content and popularity of uploaded videos can provide insight into the quality of publicly accessible driver sleepiness information. The purpose of this research was to answer two questions; firstly, how prevalent are driver sleepiness videos on YouTube? And secondly, what are the general characteristics of driver sleepiness videos in terms of (a) outlook on driver sleepiness, (b) tone, (c) countermeasures to driver sleepiness, and, (d) driver demographics.Using a keywords search, 442 relevant videos were found from a five year period (2nd December 2009-2nd December 2014). Tone, outlook, and countermeasure use were thematically coded. Driver demographic and video popularity data also were recorded. The majority of videos portrayed driver sleepiness as dangerous. However, videos that had an outlook towards driver sleepiness being amusing were viewed more often and had more mean per video comments and likes. Humorous videos regardless of outlook, were most popular. Most information regarding countermeasures to deal with driver sleepiness was accurate. Worryingly, 39.8% of videos with countermeasure information contained some kind of ineffective countermeasure. The use of humour to convey messages about the dangers of driver sleepiness may be a useful approach in educational interventions.



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Accident Analysis and Prevention


HAWKINS, A.N. and FILTNESS, A.J., 2015. Driver sleepiness on YouTube: A content analysis. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 99 (B), pp. 459-464.


© Elsevier


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This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention and the definitive published version is available at