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Sleeping disorders that puts drivers at risk

posted on Mar 06 2014 by Jade Hensby

Sleeping disorders that puts drivers at risk

It seems that there could be as many as one in twenty that suffer form a sleeping disorder that puts them at risk of falling asleep when behind the wheel. It is said that 1.4 million motorists are at risk to themselves and other road users, due to Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome.

Research carried out by the RAC has suggested that the problem may be responsible for one in five accidents, and is increasing with the number of cases of obesity and sedentary cases growing.

The RAC has said “it is a serious condition where the muscles in the throat relax too much during sleep, obstructing the airway which causes the sufferer to temporarily stop breathing and consequently repeatedly wake up to start breathing again. It is said this condition gives drivers the same level performance as those who were over the alcohol limit.

Those drivers who suffer from this, yet do nothing about it, are six times more likely to have an accident than others. The RAC has joined forces with the Sleep Apnoea Partnership Group to raise awareness have said “while 40,000 people have been diagnosed and are being treated for the condition, it is believed that up to 1.4 million drivers have not been diagnosed”.

If the sleepiness is sufficient to impair driving, the sufferer must notify the DVLA and will be advised to stop driving. RAC technical director David Bizley said that driving on the motorway can exacerbate the problem as it can be extremely monotonous and hypnotic, especially if people are already feeling tired.