LAS VEGAS – Last year brought unprecedented academic and consumer attention lavished on sleep medicine, and that trend is continuing in 2014. Sleep research originating in the United States and abroad continues to pour forth on almost a weekly basis.
The latest comes courtesy of The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The department released findings from what government officials are calling a “real world, third-party study” that shows two nights rest is better than one for truckers.
The study provides further scientific evidence that the restart provision in the current hours-of-service rule for truck drivers is more effective at combatting fatigue than the prior version. “Safety is our top priority, and this new study shows more data-driven evidence that our safety standards help truckers stay well-rested, alert and focused on the road,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The hours-of-service rule is helping to reduce truck driver fatigue and making every traveler on our highways and roads safer.”
Scientists measured sleep, reaction time, sleepiness and driving performance in the study. They found that drivers who began their work week with just one nighttime period of rest, as compared to the two nights in the updated 34-hour restart break:
• exhibited more lapses of attention, especially at night;
• reported greater sleepiness, especially toward the end of their duty periods; and
• showed increased lane deviation in the morning, afternoon and at night.
“This new study confirms the science we used to make the hours-of-service rule more effective at preventing crashes that involve sleepy or drowsy truck drivers,” said Federal Motor Carrier Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “For the small percentage of truckers that average up to 70 hours of work a week, two nights of rest is better for their safety and the safety of everyone on the road.”
The study “Field Study on the Efficacy of the New Restart Provision for Hours of Service“ was conducted by the Washington State University, Spokane – Sleep and Performance Research Center and Philadelphia-based Pulsar Informatics, Inc. FMCSA officials claim it is one of the largest real-world studies ever conducted with commercial motor vehicle drivers, and included 106 participants, 1,260 days of data and nearly 415,000 miles of driving that were recorded by the truck-based data acquisition systems.
According to FMCSA, working long hours on a continuing basis is associated with chronic fatigue, a high risk of crashes, and a number of serious chronic health conditions in drivers. The updated 34-hour restart, includes two nighttime periods from 1 to 5 a.m., and is intended to provide sufficient time for a driver to recuperate from cumulative fatigue if they work beyond the weekly maximum on-duty limits.
The interest in sleep is reflected in the exhibitor list at Medtrade Spring, which includes the following sleep/sleep accessory companies:
Airway Management –Booth #1132
Apex Medical Corp – Booth #850
Battery Power Solutions – Booth #743
Beijing Rongrui-Century Science & Tech – Booth #850
Blue Chip Medical Products Inc – Booth #623
BMC – Booth #850
Complete Medical Supplies – Booth #722
CONTEC Medical Systems Co – Booth #644
Contour Products Inc – Booth #1043
Core Products Intl – Booth #754
DeVilbiss Healthcare – Booth #927
Drive Medical – Booth #717
Fisher And Paykel Healthcare – Booth #819
GE Healthcare – Booth #326
Graham-Field – Booth #619
Health Call LLC – Booth #1029
Hudson Medical – Booth #929
Inventory Solutions Inc – Booth #357
Nonin Medical Inc – Booth #1009
Nova Medical Products – Booth #733
Philips Respironics Inc – Booth #706
RemZzzs – Booth #943
ResMed – Booth #211
Revsuppliance – Booth #1060
Roscoe Medical – Booth #411
Smirthwaite – Booth #723
Sunset Healthcare Solutions – Booth #760
Virtuox – Booth #860
Vitility – Booth #361
Medtrade Spring is a little more than 30 days away, scheduled for March 10-12 at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. CLICK HERE to register now.