According to published research, obstructive sleep apnea (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 apnea-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 On a related topic, OSA sufferers have twice the risk of workplace accidents.10
Young T, Blustein J, Finn L, Palta M. Sleep-disordered breathing and motor vehicle accidents in a population-based sample of employed adults.
Teran-Santos J, Jimenez-Gomez A, Cordero-Guevara J. The association between sleep apnea and the risk of traffic accidents.
Horstmann S, Hess CW, Bassetti C, Gugger M, Mathis J. Sleepiness-related accidents in sleep apnea patients.
Sassani A, Findley LJ, Kryger M, Goldlust E, George C, Davidson TM. Reducing motor-vehicle collisions, costs, and fatalities by treating obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.
Powell NB, Schechtman KB, Riley RW, Li K, Troell R, Guilleminault C. The road to danger: the comparative risks of driving while sleepy.
Hack MA, Choi SJ, Vijayapalan P, Davies RJ, Stradling JR. Comparison of the effects of sleep deprivation, alcohol and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) on simulated steering performance.
George CF, Boudreau AC, Smiley A. Simulated driving performance in patients with obstructive sleep apnea.
Findley L, Smith C, Hooper J, Dineen M, Suratt PM. Treatment with nasal CPAP decreases automobile accidents in patients with sleep apnea.
Ulfberg J, Carter N, Edling C. Sleep-disordered breathing and occupational accidents.