A 12-month clinical trial with one of the leading trucking fleets in North America has resulted in development of a comprehensive treatment program for sleep disorders tailored to the needs of the truck drivers, according to Fusion Sleep, a provider of a comprehensive sleep medicine programs.

Previous studies have shown that approximately 70% of a trucking company's injury/fatal crash costs have been traced back to untreated sleep disorders, according to Fusion Sleep. With more than three million drivers on the road, the trucking industry has an urgent need to diagnose and treat sleep disorders in order to save lives, reduce accidents and decrease the related costs.

"As more attention is being placed on ‘dynamic’ safety rating structures, such as CSA 2010, anything fleets can do to reduce driver fatigue and improve safety ratings are key to reducing costs and maintaining a competitive advantage and should be implemented," said Mitch Poole, COO of the Reznick Group and board member of the National Accounting and Finance Council (NAFC).

“Sleep disorders are preventable and treatable diseases. Diagnosis and treatment requires in-depth testing and medical care plans which account for each individual’s symptoms and conditions,” said Dr. Jeffrey Durmer, chief medical officer of Fusion Sleep. “Additionally, achieving quality sleep can reduce or reverse additional serious health conditions, including obesity, high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes and type II diabetes.”

Sleep apnea, or any one of over 70 sleep disorders, are very costly diseases when left untreated, causing deteriorating health and increased hospitalizations, absenteeism and lowered productivity, according to the company. By diagnosing and treating sleep apnea among its drivers, fleets have the potential to reduce their healthcare spend by nearly 50% for the affected drivers, reduce risks and increase savings in performance-related line items.

The truck drivers’ program developed by the trial combines sleep research, medicine and technology to deliver medical care for problems and conditions that impact sleep quality, quantity and daytime function, according to Fusion Sleep.