The HELO in the Transportation Industry
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy/fatigued driving accounts for 72,000 crashes per year and more than 800 deaths. Driver fatigue is a concern among “regular” drivers, but it’s even more of an issue for commercial drivers. Why? Because research indicates that commercial drivers only get about half of the recommended 8 hours of sleep each night. When driving is the main duty, it’s no accident that the lack of sleep is a problem – a serious one.
Because sleep apnea affects sleep, it also affects daytime alertness and performance. Untreated sleep apnea can make it difficult to stay awake, focus your eyes, and react quickly while driving. In general, studies show that people with untreated sleep apnea have an increased risk of being involved in a fatigue-related motor vehicle crash.
Many sleep apnea patients say they never fall asleep while driving. That may be true. But remember, you don’t have to fall asleep to have a crash. You simply have to be inattentive or less alert — and with untreated sleep apnea; you are not as sharp as you should be.
Yes! While FMCSA regulations do not specifically address sleep apnea, they do prescribe that a person with a medical history or clinical diagnosis of any condition likely to interfere with their ability to drive safely cannot be medically qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce.
By using the HELO LX Health and Fitness Band combining the sleep quality report with the other measurements of heart rate, breath rate, blood pressure, blood sugar and activity over a period of time, the individual or their company risk management / wellness team can monitor fatigue and the potential of a driver with apnea.
Additionally, imagine how regular intervals blood alcohol readings from drivers will impact every aspect of the transportation industry.
Data can also be predictors of infection or disease, used in remote monitoring of the health status of drivers, help reduce lost productivity due to illness, and help attain overall better health of drivers.