Driving sleep disorder highlighted

Driving sleep disorder highlighted

A sleep disorder thought to contribute to many road accidents is being put under the spotlight by the DVLA.

With excessive sleepiness thought to be the cause of up to 20% of motorway traffic accidents, the DVLA and the OSA Partnership Group has drawn up a document focusing on driving and obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS).

With those at greatest risk of having the condition being overweight, middle-aged men, the document includes contributions from the haulage industry and medical experts.

Left untreated OSAS can affect people's health, wellbeing and life expectancy. But the condition can be easily treated and controlling its symptoms can dramatically improve peoples' quality of life.

Professor John Stradling said it was vital that the problem wasn't driven underground by making it hard for commercial drivers to admit they have the symptoms. He said they were highlighting the importance and benefits of seeking speedy treatment.

The Freight Transport Association's Ian Gallagher said: "We understand from talking to our members that many drivers have concerns about seeking medical advice for fear of losing their licence. However this document provides answers to many questions about OSAS and also offers advice on how to access treatment as quickly as possible."

Copyright Press Association 2013