The National Transportation Safety Board has made recommendations to the Federal Aviation Agency, the U.S. Coast Guard and other governmental agencies regarding operator fatigue and a sleep disorder called sleep apnea. The NTSB presented “Fatigue and Sleep Disorders in Transportation Accidents” at the Washington D.C. Sleep Society and their data reveals that fatigue and sleep apnea has been a factor in thousands of transportation accidents since 1967 including railroad, marine, intermodal, highway, and aviation.
The NTSB recommends that pilots and other operators or motor vehicles be evaluated for obstructive sleep apnea if they have other risk factors for that disorder.
Sleep apnea is a disorder in which a person has pauses in their breathing during a sleep cycle. Each episode is termed apnea, and it means “failure to breath.” When people have the condition, their breathing is obstructed during the night which affects their body, causing daytime sleepiness and fatigue.
THE NTSB gave examples of when sleep apnea was a factor in a bus accident, a train accident, a cruise ship accident and a case when two pilots fell asleep during a flight.
See the Seattle Times for a full report by the Associated Press on the condition.
This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents.
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