Asleep at the wheel – who’s responsible?

This webinar will be presented by Professor Matthew Naughton – Head of General Respiratory Alfred Health and A/Professor Mark Howard Director of Victorian Respiratory Support Service – Austin and co-chaired by Dr Christiaan Yu Chair of Advanced Trainee Subcommittee and Dr Ai-Ming Wong.


Up to 25% of all motor vehicles crashes in Australia are due to the driving falling asleep. The cost of sleepiness at the wheel is in the excess of $2 billion every year. The landscape of motor vehicle crashes and sleepiness is evolving. Sleepiness can now be looked upon as an offense rather than a defence. The role of the sleep clinician and the drowsy patients who continues to drive is complex. A comprehensive review of the literature in this field, that is often overlooked in training, will address the gaps of legal nuances of sleep and driving, and also the role of the clinician in all of this. 

Key Takeaways

  • Determine whether sleepiness is considered and offense or defence in the court of law. 
  • Risk factors for a motor vehicle crash – sleepiness or OSA, which is worse.  
  • The role of a clinician when faced with a sleepy patient who drives.

Who would benefit from attending webinar:
Advanced trainees, sleep physicians,  forensic physicians, medico-legal experts. Anyone who deals with patients who drives – most clinicians.  

Professor Matthew Naughton (Head of general respiratory Alfred Health) - Medico-legal implication sleeping while driving 

Professor Matthew Naughton MBBS MD FRACP is a physician specialising in respiratory and sleep disorders. He graduated in 1982, and has worked at Royal Melbourne Hospital, Austin Health, University of Toronto and, since 1994, at the Alfred and Epworth Hospitals. At the Alfred, he is head of general respiratory and sleep medicine and Deputy Director of the Department of Respiratory Medicine. He is also an adjunct clinical professor of medicine, Monash University. He has over 200 scientific publications with a particular interest in cardiovascular disease and sleep. He is a past president of the Australasian Sleep Association (ASA). He was awarded the ASA's distinguished achiever award in 2015. He has been made a fellow of both the American Thoracic and the European Respiratory Societies. His clinical interest is broad and predominantly encompasses sleep issues in patients with heart or lung disease. He is qualified to undertake disability assessment and frequently provides medico-legal opinions.

A/Prof Mark Howard (Director of Victorian Respiratory Support Service - Austin - Medico-legal implication sleeping while driving

Mark Howard is the Director of the Victorian Respiratory Support Service at Austin Health. He is a specialist physician in respiratory and sleep medicine with interests in long-term ventilation of patients with respiratory failure and the impact of sleep disorders on driving and occupational health and safety. He is Clinical Associate Professor at The University of Melbourne, Adjunct Associate Professor at Monash University and IBAS Lead in the Australian Sleep and Alertness Consortium.

Dr Christiaan Yu- Chair of advanced trainee education sub-committee & Ai-Ming Wong will co-chair this webinar

This webinar is free for everyone, but registration is required. To register you will need to log in with your member details, or create an account on this website if you’re not a member.

This webinar will be recorded and made available online afterwards. By registering to attend you are giving your permission to be recorded.

Please note

  • Registrations will close two hours before the webinar starts and you will not be able to register after that.
  • We will email you the webinar access details after you register and again a few hours before the webinar commences.

Attendees will automatically receive 1 CPD hour credit and a certificate through the ASA Learning Centre. Inquiries about this meeting should be directed to Kristen Ellard.

Date: Tuesday 16th May 2023
Time: 6:00pm Queensland, NSW ACT Tasmania and Victoria 
           5:30pm SA  
           4:00pm WA 
           8:00pm NZ 

5/16/2023 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
AUS Eastern Standard Time
Sign in or create an account to register Registration ends 5/16/2023 3:00 PM
AUS Eastern Standard Time
Upcoming Event Why Regular Sleep Timing Matters 5 Apr 2023 VIEW EVENT
Upcoming Event Victoria state meeting 2023 5 May 2023 VIEW EVENT