The Dangers of Sleep Deprivation in the Transportation Industry

Do you feel drowsy while driving? If so, you’re not alone, and there is something that you can do about it.  For the first time, the National Sleep Foundation conducted a poll analyzing transportation workers’ sleep. Train operators, truck drivers, pilots and public transportation specialists, confirm that sleep problems impact their job performance.

In an industry where safety depends on its workers, these findings reveal a serious issue.
Here is how employees in the transportation industry responded to the poll.

Train Operators
According to the poll, train operators experience the greatest issues concerning sleep and the impact it has on their lives and job performance.
• 44% state that their weekday routines do not allow for adequate sleep.
• Considering that 14% of train operators were diagnosed with a sleep disorder, it is not surprising that they share the top spot for instances of nightly snoring and waking up “unrefreshed.”
• 26% of train operators report sleepiness impacting their job performance at least once a week.
• 18% attribute a “near miss” accident at work to sleepiness.

Truck Drivers
Along with train operators, truck drivers also find sleepiness impacts their work performance.
•    Truck drivers rank with the train operators for nightly snoring.
•    11% have sleep disorders.
•    15% of truck drivers said that sleepiness impacted their job performance at least once a week.
•    14% documented “near miss” accidents while at work.

Pilots, like train operators, agree that their workday routines do not allow for proper sleep. Because of this, they rank at the top with train operators for waking up feeling “unrefreshed.” This sleepiness directly affects their job performance.
• 5% suffer from a diagnosed sleep disorder.
• 23% report sleepiness impacting job performance at least once a week.
• Unlike those occupations with “near misses,” 20% associate sleepiness with serious errors committed at work.

Public Transportation Specialists
While public transportation specialists have shorter workdays than their peers in the study, results still show sleepiness affects job performance.
• 18% report getting less sleep than they need during the work week.
• 5% report having sleeping disorders.
• 10% believe sleep impacts their job performance.
• 12% associate a “near miss” at work with their sleepiness.

While sleepiness is common for all workers, sleep-related issues and their association with job performance are higher among those in the Transportation Industry.

With so many lives at stake, this report suggests that intervention is required to ensure transportation safety. To view the poll’s full findings, click here.
Did you know that good sleep is actually preventive medicine? Many diseases start with sleep disorders and progress to serious medical conditions.

By taking action today, you will protect your future health, enjoy a longer life, become more productive, and feel better every day.

The Sleep4Safety Program, powered by FusionHealth®, ensures effective treatment for DOT- and non DOT-regulated employees in the transportation industries.
FusionHealth® is the national leader in Transportation Sleep Medicine, providing solutions for sleep apnea and the 80+ sleep disorders in the trucking, aviation, rail and public transportation industries.

If you feel drowsy while driving, click in the link in the sidebar to take a free sleep quiz, enter your contact information to receive a free guide on how to get a restful night’s sleep and contact the FusionHealth® Care Team™ for more information.