Posted by Brett Emison
April 10, 2012 11:10 AM
I have written before about the problem of fatigue for airline pilots and truck drivers. Now Truckinginfo.com– the web site of Heavy Duty Trucking magazine – has reported on a study that found 41% of Australian commercial truck drivers. Truckinginfo suggests that 30% of American truck drivers may suffer from obstructive sleep apnea that can contribute to fatigued driving, accidents, crashes, and collisions.
The study – published in the journal Sleep – found that sleep apnea remains a significant, unrecognized problem in commercial motor vehicle drivers, many of whom have multiple health risks. Though only 4.4% of drivers surveyed reported a previous diagnosis of sleep apnea, testing showed 41% of the drivers suffered from the condition. Thirty-six percent of drivers were overweight, 50% were obese, and 49% were cigarette smokers — each of which increases the risk of obstructive sleep apnea.
An NPR report noted that truck drivers are more likely to be overweight, which is a significant factor in the onset of sleep apnea.