Watch Out for Sleepy Truckers
A recent study found a high incidence of sleep disorders and excessive sleepiness among commercial vehicle drivers in Australia. The study´s investigators measured sleep-disordered breathing and assessed accident risk factors in 2,342 Australian truck drivers. The research revealed that about 60 percent of the drivers had sleep-disordered breathing and 16 percent had obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. The general population has a 24 percent sleep-disordered breathing rate and a 4 percent sleep apnea level.The study states that 20 to 30 percent of all trucking accidents are sleep-related. Of the 2,342 respondents, 739 drivers (35.5 percent) had a total of 1,407 accidents in the prior 3 years, with almost half (48.3 percent) having had more than one accident. The study appears in the November 2004 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.