I have been fortunate to work with many great lawyers around the country on Truck Accident, Spinal Cord and Brain Injury cases. One such lawyer is Pete Everett of Fairfax, Virginia. Pete Everett, a great trucking lawyer who has a breathtaking knowledge of traumatic brain injuries, sent me the following information on a new sleep apnea study in the Australian trucking industry.
Sleep apnea is a huge issue in the US trucking industry, and is willfully, knowingly, and glaringly ignored by most trucking companies. As a result it is a problem I have posted on frequently (Dangers of Truck Drivers with Sleep Apnea, Sleep Apnea increase Risk of Accident Two to Seven Hundred Percent; 25% of Truck Drivers Should Not be Driving Due to Fatigue; and Fatigued Drivers 2.5 Times More Likely to be in a Collision amongst others). The new study shows what we have known in the US for decades. TRUCK DRIVERS WITH UNTREATED SLEEP APNEA KILL INNOCENT VICTIMS ON OUR ROADS. The actual report states:
TruckingInfo.com; Wednesday, April 4, 2012
41% of Australian Truck Drivers Have Sleep Apnea, Study Says
A new sleep study found that 41% of Australian truck drivers have obstructive sleep apnea.
The study, published in the journal "Sleep," found that although only 4.4% of drivers reported a previous diagnosis of sleep apnea, an at-home diagnostic test found that 41% of the 517 drivers who participated likely had sleep apnea.
The study also found that 36% of drivers were overweight, 50% obese an 49% were cigarette smokers.
"Sleep apnea remains a significant and unrecognized problem in CMV drivers, who we found to have multiple health risks," the study says. "Objective testing for this sleep disorder needs to be considered, as symptom reports and self-identification appear insufficient to accurately identify those at risk."
Although the study focused only on Australian drivers, NPR reported that as much as 30% of American drivers are believed to have sleep apnea, a condition that causes a person to stop breathing for short periods of time during sleep, which results in daytime drowsiness.