A study released today shows that untreated sleep apnea is linked to a dramatic increase in serious preventable crashes.
Untreated Sleep Apnea Increases Crash Risk By Five Times
The Truckers & Turnover Project study at the University of Minnesota surveyed 1,600 American truckers with obstructive sleep apnea along with another 1,600 who do not have the condition. They found that drivers with sleep apnea who don’t use their CPAP machine on a regular basis are five times more likely to be involved in a serious preventable crash than the control group.
The study also found that drivers who adhere to a treatment plan for sleep apnea have a similar crash rate to drivers who do not have sleep apnea.
Investigators Call Untreated Sleep Apnea “Pervasive Threat To Transportation Safety
Researchers say that these findings suggest that all commercial vehicle drivers should be screened for sleep apnea.
“This study emphasizes that untreated obstructive sleep apnea is a pervasive threat to transportation safety,” according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
It is estimated that about 28% of American truck drivers have sleep apnea.
The publication of the study comes just days after the FMCSA announced its intention to make an official ruling on sleep apnea.