Swift will test its drivers for sleep apnea in a new program to detect and treat this chronic problem in the trucking industry. An estimated 25% of drivers have sleep apnea, a subject I have blogged about before (see July 28, 2008).
With untreated sleep apnea a driver wakes up repeatedly during the night, disrupting his sleep, and causing him to be fatigued and more likely to make a mistake throughout the day. A driver is not allowed to drive a tractor trailer if he has untreated sleep apnea, a reason many drivers fail to seek out diagnosis and treatment, and why so many substandard trucking companies turn a blind eye to the condition.
Swift is following Schneider National in testing for sleep apnea.