DOI: 10.1101/19003491Oct 10, 2019Paper

Driving Me Crazy: The effects of stress on the driving abilities of paramedic students - a pilot study.

MedRxiv : the Preprint Server for Health Sciences
T. Hines DuncliffeAlan M Batt


Background: Previous research has demonstrated that stress has a negative impact on the performance of paramedics. Stress negatively impact the driving abilities of the general population increasing the number of driving errors performed. No studies have explored stress and its link with the driving abilities of paramedics. Methods: Paramedic students underwent driving assessment in a driving simulator before and after exposure to a stressful medical scenario. Number and type of errors were documented before and after. Results: 36 students participated in the study. Following exposure to a stressful medical scenario, paramedic students demonstrated no increase in overall error rate, but demonstrated an increase in three critical driving errors; failure to wear a seatbelt (3 baseline v 10 post stress, p= 0.0087), failing to stop for red lights or stop signs (7 v 35, p= <0.0001), and losing controlling of the vehicle (2 v 11, p= 0.0052). Conclusion: Paramedics are routinely exposed to acute stress and this stress could increase the number of critical driving errors that occur. These results stimulate the need for further research, and highlight the potential need for increased driver training and stress management education in or...Continue Reading

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