Safety is #1 at Prime, Inc. and that’s why we are doing our part to ensure the safety of our drivers and the safety of everyone on the road.
ABC News recently released a report which discusses mandating sleep apnea tests for transportation operators. Jobs in the transportation industry, particularly truck driver positions, often require long hours of work with few breaks in between. Sometimes the results of working long hours with little to no breaks can be catastrophic, both for the drivers and their passengers, ABC states. But fatigue isn’t the only threat facing the transportation industry – sleep disorders are a critical issue, as well.
In 2013, four people died and 63 were injured when a New York City Metro train took a turn too fast and derailed. The cause of the accident was determined to be that the engineer suffered from sleep apnea. Ever heard of it? According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. This type of sleep apnea causes the airway to collapse or become blocked during sleep, which in turn causes shallow breathing or breathing pauses. Obstructive sleep apnea can affect anyone, although it is more common in people who are overweight.
The National Transportation Safety Board says sleep apnea is a widespread problem with drivers and conductors within the transportation industry. “One of the biggest problems with [sleep apnea] is that many of those people don’t know they’ve got it,” says Mark Rosekind, a member of of the National Transportation Safety Board.
In order to reduce sleep apnea-related accidents, Prime is promoting sleep apnea awareness and testing among our drivers and those enrolled in the company’s student training program. We have our very own sleep lab at our Training Center where drivers and enrollees can undergo testing. Our goal is to help reduce sleep apnea-related accidents on the road, and we’re confident our efforts will make a difference. Prime encourages you to execute similar steps to improve safety and raise awareness of this disorder.
Prime focuses on safety in more ways than one. In addition to the sleep apnea lab, we’re implementing features like the Meritor OnGuard with Collision Mitigation technology, along with Bendix AutoVue Lane Departure system. The OnGuard system alerts the operator if the following distance is narrowing on the object ahead of the truck, and actively brakes the tractor to increase the distance between the forward object and the tractor. The Lane Departure System alerts the driver of lane drift; this is essential, as most operators will drift over the lanes when they are excessively tired or dosing.
“We realize how important it is to take a proactive role in promoting a healthy lifestyle among our drivers, and that includes sleep apnea testing. Fatigued driving and sleep disorders are two critical issues facing our industry, and we’re doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our drivers and the safety of everyone on the road,” stated Steve Field, Director of Safety with Prime, Inc.
Stay safe, everyone! If you’re interested in joining a company with a strong freight network, stability, opportunity, and great pay, it’s time you apply with Prime. Join the conversation and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+!