DO NOT EVEN LET ME GET STARTED on the problems with this article. The accident numbers quoted at best are figments of the reporters imagination.
Fatigued driving accident rates for CMV operators ( per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrations ; Large Vehicle Crash Causation Study) were half those of the passenger vehicle driver.
Given that a typical CMV operator drives 120- 140,000 miles per year compared to the 10-12,000 per year for a typical car driver...... it is 20 times more likely ( accident rates per mile driven the best metric for driver safety) for a car driver to be in a fatigue related accident.
There are a host of issues about OSA in trucking. And that the FMCSA screening guidlines used BMI>33 to require a sleep study... FMCSA did not recognize that there is more than weight in OSA screening.
FMCSA guidelines are BMI>33 or high risk on a berlin questionaire.. or clinical examination of throat by medical examiner shows restriction...... must have sleep study within 30 days or medical disqualification from operating CMV...
Think about it..... uninsured truck drivers are faced with having to come up with $ 3,800 (going rate for PSG, CPAP and one year OSA treatment from major firms marketing to trucking.. must be paid up front with no insurance) to keep on working.
Oh.. by the way... there are NO studies showing that there is a direct correlation between OSA and an increased risk of crash in CMV operators.. and in fact there are two studies showing CMV operators with OSA had a lower accident rate than the control group.. (but those studies used driver self-report of crash not a good way to calculate accident rates as drivers won't report all crashes..)
Truckers are at a higher risk for having OSA. Any truck driver that even thinks they might have OSA should get themselves tested and under treatment. There are very good reasons the ASAA board has a policy statement as being opposed to any requirements linking OSA to a persons right to drive.
Solving simple little things like truck drivers not getting fired as soon as they get tested and get a diagnosis of OSA would make this a whole lot better.
It's part of why ASAA is sponsoring the Sleep Apnea in Trucking Conference May 2010 in Baltimore.
(just a truck driver with sleep apnea)
Co-coordinator Truckers for a Cause Chapter of A. W. A. K. E.