School staff

Dr Ashleigh Filtness

Photo of Dr Ashleigh Filtness

Lecturer in Transport Safety

Dr Ashleigh Filtness is a Lecturer in Transport Safety at Loughborough Design School She specialises in road safety and driver behaviour, with particular expertise in driver sleepiness and impaired driving.

Ashleigh was awarded her PhD from Loughborough University in 2011 for her thesis entitled Obstructive sleep apnoea and daytime driver sleepiness. This research used a driving simulator methodology to demonstrate the increased vulnerability of obstructive sleep apnoea patients driving performance to sleep restriction, and impairment of their driving performance following one night of treatment withdrawal. For her work in this area, Ashleigh was recognised as the British Sleep Societies Young Sleep Researcher of the Year – 2009.

Following the completion of her PhD, Ashleigh moved to Australia where she worked at Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) from 2011-2013. Whilst at MUARC, Ashleigh worked on a variety of road safety research projects funded by both industry and competitive grant schemes.  She gained experience in a range of research methodologies including extending her knowledge of driving simulators and developed expertise in various road safety topics, including: systems thinking, driver distraction, situation awareness, alcohol impairment with motorcycle riders, police in-vehicle safety, the management of heavy vehicle drivers working hours, and driver behaviour at level crossings. 

From 2013-2016 Ashleigh worked at Queensland University of Technology, Centre for Accident Research and Road safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q) working on government, industry and grant funded research projects. During her time at CARRS-Q Ashleigh worked on road safety research projects covering topics in the following areas: driver sleepiness, novice driver training, drug driving, drink driving, driver aggression, driver behaviour in road work sites, safety implications for co-locating road signs, alcohol ignition interlocks, taxi crashes, rail level crossing safety and hot air ballooning incident analysis.  

Since completing her Ph.D Ashleigh has authored over 30 peer reviewed publications and attracted research funding totalling over $1 million (AUD) from government, industry and competitive grant schemes. 

Recent research projects:

  • Developing and evaluating a theoretically grounded novice driver education program incorporating simulators.
  • Effects of sleep loss on change detection while driving.
  • Caffeine and rear-end crashes in urban driving; developing a new test paradigm.
  • Human factors in Transport Exchange Program: Fatigue and SPAD risk.
  • Understanding sleepy drivers: towards development of a targeted intervention.
  • SafetyCube (Safety CaUsation, Benefits and Efficiency) research project, funded by the European Commission.         

Research Group: Transport Safety Research Group

  • Weijermars, W., Bos, N., Filtness, A.J., Brown, L., Bauer, R., Dupont, E., Martin, J.L., Perez, K., Thomas, P. (2018). Burden of injury of serious road injuries in six EU countries. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 111, 184-192.
  • Filtness A.J., Beanland V., Sleep loss and change detection in driving scenes. (2017) Transportation Research Part F.
  • Filtness, A. J., Armstrong K., Watson A., Smith S.S (2015) Sleep-related crash characteristics: Implications for applying a fatigue definition to crash reports. Accident Analysis and Prevention
  • Hawkins, A., Filtness, A.J. (2015)Driver sleepiness on YouTube: A content analysis. Accident Analysis and Prevention

  • Filtness A.J., Goode N., Cook R. (2014) Causal factors of hot air ballooning incidents: identification, frequency and potential impact. Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine, 85(12), 1190-1198.

  • Filtness A.J., Anund A., Fors C., Ahlström C., Åkerstedt T., Kecklund G. (2014). Sleep related eye symptoms and their potential for identifying driver sleepiness. Journal of Sleep Research, 23(5), 568-575

  • Salmon P.M., Lenné M.G., Walker G. Stanton N.A., Filtness, A. J. (2014) Exploring schema-driven differences in situation awareness across road users: an on-road study of driver, cyclist and motorcyclist situation awareness. Ergonomics, 57(2), 191-209.

  • Armstrong K., Filtness A. J., Watling C., Barraclough P., Haworth N. (2013). Efficacy of proxy definitions for identification of fatigue/sleep-related crashes: an Australian evaluation. Transportation Research Part F, 21, 242-252

  • Filtness A. J., Reyner L. A., Horne J. A. (2012). Driver sleepiness - comparisons between young and older men during a monotonous afternoon simulated drive. Biological Psychology, 89(3), 580 – 583.

  • Filtness A.J., Reyner L.A., Horne J.A. (2011). Moderate sleep restriction in treated older male OSA participants: greater impairment during monotonous driving compared with controls. Sleep Medicine, 12(9), 838-843.