Scientists develop blood test which can tell police if you’re too tired to drive – and employers if you’re too drowsy for duty
- Blood test could soon help police identify drivers who are too tired to drive
- Could also help employers assess staff’s fitness for duty, according to researchers
- Scientists enrolled 36 healthy adults to study how sleep deprivation could be detected in their blood
A new blood test could soon help police identify drivers who are too tired to be on the road.
It could also help employers assess staff for fitness for duty, according to the researchers developing it.
Scientists at the Sleep Research Centre at the University of Surrey enrolled 36 healthy adults to study how sleep deprivation could be detected in their blood.
Blood test could soon help police identify drivers who are too tired to drive. Stock image showing a woman driving
Some of them were required to stay awake for 40 hours. Blood samples were then taken and changes in thousands of genes were measured.
A computer program identified 68 genes that could show whether a sample came from a sleep-deprived or well-rested person with 92 per cent accuracy, according to the study published in the journal Sleep.
Scientists hope they will be able to develop the test to detect precisely how much – or little – sleep someone has had.
Figures in 2015 recorded fatigue as a contributory factor in 4 per cent of road fatalities and 2 per cent of all road casualties.
But the true total is thought to be considerably higher because fatigue is far harder to spot than alcohol and drugs and police cannot currently test for it.