A new study proposed has revealed that most of the commercial truck drives are at a higher risk of crashing due to a sleeping disorder.
The study was carried out by analyzing 517 truck drivers. These drivers covered a total distance of approximately 200 Kms daily from their base and were deployed to drive trucks which were more than 12 tones tare weight.
According to the statistics included in the study more than 40% of the truck drivers suffer from this disorder called sleep apnoea. Rather, a total of 16% amongst the 41 % sufferers, are considered are severe cases that are drastically affected. It has been reported that almost 50% of the truck drivers are obese, half of them are smokers and about 20% suffer from hypertension.
The reports revealed that the system deployed to keep these people as drivers was not working according to the requirements. Ron Grunstein, Professor of Sleep Medicine at the University of Sydney, said “Our study shows licence requirements don't identify drivers with sleep disorders. The system is inadequate”. As, a result the drivers are even not putting forward their symptoms of snoring and sleepiness.
NT Roads Transport Association Head, Louise Bilato has emphasized that the drivers who are found to be obese or the ones who smoke should be tested for sleep disorders, to reduce the risk of crashing and accidents. Moreover, she asserted that it is the responsibility of the company to identify these risk factors amongst the employees and hence, refer them for tests.
However, she stated that no such case of sleepiness has been reported so far in the past 10 years, which may be due to the roads in the Territory that doesn’t make them fall asleep. But still the companies are adjured to manage the risk. Moreover, the disorder is very much treatable and doesn’t even consume much of time.