The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) today launched an online survey seeking commercial driver input on a number of issues related to sleep apnea. The survey results will be synthesized with other sleep apnea and driver fatigue research analyses, and then analyzed by several leading sleep apnea experts. This research, entitled “Understanding the Impacts of Sleep Apnea on Commercial Drivers,” was selected by ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee (RAC) as one of its top research priorities for 2016.

As a first task in this research, ATRI is surveying commercial drivers on their perspectives, personal experiences, and knowledge of sleep apnea. The survey, which was pre-tested with professional truck drivers, also solicits information on sleep apnea assessments and treatments that drivers may have received, as well as the perceived effectiveness of those treatments. All commercial drivers, even if they have no personal experience with sleep apnea diagnoses, are encouraged to participate in this confidential survey.

“This is the first large-scale data collection effort that seeks to find out what professional drivers know about sleep apnea and for those who have been through a sleep test, to better understand what the impacts, especially costs, of testing and treatment are on drivers. I strongly encourage my fellow drivers to take a few minutes to complete ATRI’s confidential online survey,” says Bob Stanton, a professional driver diagnosed with sleep apnea in 2002 and Co-Coordinator of Truckers for a Cause, a patient support groups for drivers with sleep apnea, in a release.

Tom Weakley, director of operations for the OOIDA Foundation and a member of ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee, says, “The costs associated with sleep apnea screening is a big concern for our members. ATRI’s survey is an opportunity to expand the existing data on this very critical issue.”

This survey was initially distributed at the Mid-America Trucking Show in late March, where over 100 drivers participated in the research. The online version of the survey will be available through mid-May, and sleep professionals can forward it to former or current patients who are commercial drivers.