Are you feeling sleepy today? Perhaps ready for a little nap? Now, if you’re reading this on your iPad while riding the bus, look at your driver. Does he or she look sleepy? Perhaps ready to take a nap as well? Chances are, he has a sleeping condition. Trucking accidents and accidents caused by professional drivers due to sleep deprivation have become a serious problem.
This is a serious issue recently addressed at a conference in Gothenburg, Sweden. Through a study conducted by the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, researchers discovered that a quarter of bus and tram drivers suffer from daytime sleepiness, a problem which could greatly affect rider safety.
The study was presented at the Swedish Sleep Medicine Congress by Mahssa Karimi, a doctoral student from the Center for Sleep and Vigilance Disorders. Her research project looked at the incidence of sleep disorders in 116 bus and tram drivers in Gothenburg. The study found:
• 23% have problems with pronounced daytime sleepiness;
• 28% have trouble getting to sleep;
• 29% suffer from restless legs; and
• 19% have sleep apnea (pauses in breathing while asleep which can result in tiredness
and difficulty concentrating during the day).
Following the study, help was provided particularly to the drivers suffering from sleep apnea, as their condition was the most serious. They were provided with a CPAP machine, a machine where a breathing mask is used at night to maintain a positive pressure in the airways. They are kept open and therefore prevent snoring and apnea while sleeping.
"The study showed that these drivers stopped having apnea episodes during the night and also had significantly lower blood pressure and, above all, greatly reduced daytime sleepiness," says Karimi.
The key is providing resources to these drivers without making them feel that it reflects poorly upon their job performance or makes them feel that they will be judged for treating what could become a very serious problem if they were to fall asleep, even for the smallest moment, behind the wheel.
If you’ve been in an accident involving a driver who fell asleep, make sure to protect yourself by enlisting the help of an attorney from the Christensen Law Firm. They have handled numerous cases resulting from drowsy drivers and ensure accident victims are fully compensated and protected. They offer free consultations, peace of mind, and excellent results. They also offer a free Utah Accident Book, 7 Biggest Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Utah Accident Case. This book is packed with invaluable information that will educate and protect you after an accident. Contact them today at 801-506-0800.