Sleep-related traffic and occupational accidents

According to published research, obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) sufferers have a significantly increased risk of motor vehicle accidents (from four to six times).1,2,3

It's estimated that each year in the USA there are 310,000 sleep apnoea-related collisions causing:

  • 1,400 fatalities4
  • $15.9 billion in collision costs4

What's more, the risks of driving when sleepy can be as dangerous as when driving under the influence of alcohol.5,6

Some studies have shown that OSA sufferers are more dangerous than drunk drivers.7 However, the increased risk of collisions due to OSA is reduced when patients are treated with CPAP.8,9

OSA is known to impair attention and vigilance, long-term visual and verbal memory, and impact on executive function. This can result in serious production losses including high rates of absenteeism, lower productivity, difficultly concentrating and performing monotonous or vigilant tasks, as well as higher rates of workplace accidents10,11. In fact, OSA sufferers have twice the risk of workplace accidents.12

References