The DVLA has come up with a report that brings forth some important data concerning driving and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome or OSAS. This is crucial considering HGV drivers have been found to be affected by the syndrome the most while 20% of accidents can be linked to excessive sleepiness. The agency has created the document in partnership with the OSA Partnership Group after deliberation with professionals from the medical fraternity and the haulage industry.
Professor John Stradling who hails from the Oxford Sleep Clinic and has lent his expertise in creating the document stressed on the need to tackle the situation effectively. This he said is important or else the commercial drivers will loathe admitting having the syndrome. It is for this reason that the OSA Partnership Group and the DVLA joined hands in evolving a process that can educate drivers of the importance of OSAS as well as the long term benefits of getting it treated effectively.
What the document wishes to emphasise on is that treating OSAS is simple and easy. And once treated, it can dramatically improve the quality of life of the individual. Similarly, if OSAS is not treated effectively, it will have a gross negative impact on the individual with not only it being good health of the individual at risk but it could even lead to untimely death as well. The study has revealed it is the middle aged and overweight men and HGV drivers who are most prone to be diagnosed with OSAS.
Speaking on the issue, Ian Gallagher, head of policy for DVLA Policy at FTA said they are aware one of the biggest concerns for drivers to not seek medical advice on the issue is their fear of losing their driving licence on doing so. He claims the document can come in handy in such situations as it will not only clear the most common queries about the syndrome but will also spell out ways on getting it treated quickly and effectively.
The primary objective behind the creation of the OSA Partnership Group is to bring under a single roof various representatives from the commercial vehicle segment, medical professionals, patient groups as well as those concerned with health and safety at work. This will help achieve the greater objective of making all aware of sleep apnoea and to deal with road safety issues associated with it.