Truck driver fatigue is always being taunted as a major problem. The NTSB, the FMCSA and the American Trucking Association are all behind the implementation of a new bill that will require truck drivers to undergo testing for a medical condition known as sleep apnea.
Media reports are stating that about 30% of all truck drivers have sleep apnea. Furthermore, it has been reported that the condition affects between 6% to 12% of the adult male population.
Truth About Trucking “LIVE” talk radio discussed the real truth behind truck driver fatigue and the sleep apnea deception on Wednesday, May 19th, 2010.
We had the reports . . . we had the data . . . we had the numbers.
When one study did not provide the data that they were looking for, then they conducted more studies until the data met their agenda.
Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that needs to be treated and the truck driver population needs to be made aware, but the real problem of truck driver fatigue lies with the lifestyle of the professional trucker and how the motor carriers contribute to this problem. (See our previous post: Motor Carriers Responsible for Truck Driver Fatigue).
Continually pushing the issue of sleep apnea as the major cause of driver fatigue is taking the focus off of the real problem : pushing drivers to their limit, disturbing drivers while they are trying to sleep, forced dispatch, and waiting at loading docks for hours. Sleep apnea needs to be taken seriously and those who have it should take steps in its treatment. But ignoring the MAJOR causes and then saying that 30% of truck drivers have this condition is just not the case, when independent studies have shown a lower percent.
Furthermore, if the studies conducted do not present the figures that you were hoping for, performing more studies until you reach the wanted figures only minimize the findings.
Listen to the show and you decide . . .