According to an article published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine about 5,600 people are killed each year in the U.S. in crashes involving commercial trucks. Many of the crashes happen when the driver falls asleep at the wheel. The article is titled, “Impaired Performance in Commercial Drivers: Role of Sleep Apnea and Short Sleep Duration.”
According to a major new study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, truck drivers who routinely get too little sleep or suffer from sleep apnea show signs of fatigue and impaired performance that can make them a hazard on the road.
Researchers are now suggesting specific steps for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to take to improve safety:
* Develop strategies to identify impaired drivers through objective testing.
* Implement programs to identify and test drivers with severe sleep apnea and monitor that they stick to their treatment.
* And introduce programs to assess and promote longer durations of sleep among commercial drivers.