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Sleep Apnea and Driving


Sleep apnea is a condition where the sleeper stops breathing during the night. These pauses in breathing during the night disturb the person’s sleep, meaning that they are sleep deprived. Over time this sleep deprivation can impact them in a number of ways, including their driving.

A recent study found that people with sleep apnea they tested over 200 people, with roughly half suffering from untreated sleep apnea. The test saw them driving a 70 kilometre course with a driving instructor riding shotgun and assessing their driving. The instructor was unsure of who was an apnea sufferer and who wasn’t, meaning that they were not influenced or biased.

The drivers were assessed for poor decisions, the time spent in the middle lane, any unprovoked crashes and any crashes caused by veering off the road. While 12 percent of the control group failed the test, 24 percent of the sleep apnea sufferers failed.

The conclusions are clear, people who suffer from sleep apnea are worse drivers. It really is not that surprising, anyone who has driven when they are exhausted knows how much harder it is to concentrate. People with sleep apnea are permanently tired and their driving suffers.

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