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RAC calls for better diagnosis of sleep disorders

Date: 22 December 2016   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

The RAC and Road Haulage Association (RHA) have joined forces to raise awareness of undiagnosed sleep conditions.

According to research by traffic safety body AAA Foundation, driving with conditions such as obstructive sleep apnoea syndrone (OSAS) can be more of an impairment than drink-driving.

The breakdown body and delivery driver group said, at present, drivers can wait months for treatment, and is calling for a four-week limit from diagnosis to treatment.

OSAS suffers may not realise they have the condition, but will be feel drowsy and are likely to fall asleep behind the wheel.

The companies have joined forces with the Obstructive Apnoea Partnership Group to persuade the Department of Health to implement the four-week limit. Meanwhile, they're also lobbying ministers to prioritise the issue in order to move the delivery industry forwards.  

"Drivers are vital to the health and growth of the UK's economy, so it's only right that those behind the wheel are safe and aware of any health threats that might impair their driving ability," said RAC roads policy spokesman Nicolas Lyes. "Something like obstructive sleep apnoea can affect anybody, regardless of ability and experience, which is why we feel it is vital that they have access to a fast track diagnosis and treatment that ensures job security and they are back on the road within a few weeks."