Arkansas Trucking Association

You are here: Home News In Brief Study reveals drivers refusing sleep apnea treatment at greater risk

Drivers with sleep apnea have a five times greater risk of a severe crash when they do not adhere to a mandated treatment program, according to a study co-authored by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

In a group of 1,000 truck drivers working for a year, the drivers with obstructive sleep apnea who refused treatment had 70 preventable serious truck crashes, compared with 14 crashes experienced by an equal-sized group that adhered to treatment or did not have the condition at all.

The study compared more than 1,600 drivers with obstructive sleep apnea with an equal number of drivers who did not have the condition. Treatment included auto-adjusting positive airway pressure treatment and monitoring.

"Previous research has shown that obstructive sleep apnea is among the most common causes of excessive drowsiness or fatigue in the daytime, so this new analysis really underscores the risk truck drivers diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea assume if they choose not to adhere to a treatment program," said Erin Mabry, co-author of the research article and a senior research associate with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute's Center for Truck and Bus Safety.

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You are here: Home News In Brief Study reveals drivers refusing sleep apnea treatment at greater risk