To determine the prevalence of excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) and that of dozing and sudden onset of sleep episodes (SOS) while driving in ambulatory patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) in France, a national sample of private and public neurologists was asked to recruit the first 10 consecutive nondemented PD patients. Each patient completed a questionnaire including the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) and the likelihood of dozing off and experiencing SOS episodes behind the wheel. Clinical and demographic data were collected. One thousand six hundred and twenty-five patients with PD were included in the survey. Twenty-nine percent of the patients suffered from EDS (ESS score>or=10) but only 0.8% declared a high chance of dozing while driving and 0.5% reported totally unpredictable SOS episodes while driving. Risk factors for EDS were male gender, reduced activity of daily living, and a high daily levodopa equivalent dosage. Risk factors for SOS episodes while driving were an ESS score>or=10, male gender, and low Hoehn and Yahr staging. EDS is common in ambulatory patients with PD and is a major risk factor for dozing and for SOS episodes behind the wheel in patients who drive.