Transport Topics: The 2020 study by researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, presented at a Transportation Research Board committee meeting Jan. 11, suggested that the number of drivers with diagnosed or undiagnosed sleep apnea could be even greater than the estimates of prior studies ranging from 7.2% to up to 30%.

“The goal of the new study is really to get an accurate estimate of potential OSA,” said presenter Jeffrey Hickman, a VTTI researcher who participated in the study. “We’re not trying to diagnose people. We’re just screening them.”

The new research using the STOP-Bang method concluded that drivers recruited for the study with undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnea were at greater risk of being involved in reportable crashes, moving violations and preventable crashes.