Tagged Articles

sleepiness 5 articles

Investigators believe fatigue may have played a role in deadly Bronx train crash

Authorities investigating the deadly crash of a Metro-North commuter train in the Bronx, N.Y., Sunday morning believe the engineer driving the train may have fallen asleep, allowing it to accelerate 52 mph over the speed limit ahead of a sharp curve. The derailment killed four passengers and injured about 75 others, including the engineer. William Rockefeller, 45, told supervisors that he hit the brakes as the train approached the curve, but it would not stop. Mr. Rockefeller has been employed by Metro-North for two decades and has been a company engineer for the last 11 years. He had an unblemished ... Read More

Experimental sleep aid helped test patients fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer

An experimental new drug to help insomniacs fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer is showing good results in clinical trials. Suvorexant, made by Merck, is a new type of sleep aid that works differently from others currently on the market. Suvorexant works by targeting and blocking chemical messengers known as orexins that are designed to keep you awake and alert. They originate in the hypothalamus, a major sleep center in the brain. The new drug was tested during a three-month period in two separate trials of more than 1,000 people who suffer from insomnia. Patients in the first trial ... Read More

Sleepy, disoriented pilot took Air Canada flight into plunge, injuring passengers

Several passengers and crew members aboard an overnight transatlantic Air Canada flight were injured after a sleepy pilot mistakenly thought the plane was about to collide with a U.S. military jet and forced the Boeing 767 into a sharp dive. A new report by Canada’s Transportation Safety Board attributes the 46-second incident, which occurred in January, to pilot fatigue and specifically to “sleep inertia,” a state in which performance and situational awareness are degraded immediately after waking up. The pilot had been asleep for about 75 minutes during a required rest period implemented by regulators as a measure to combat ... Read More

FMCSA agrees to hold public hearings on proposed Hours-of-Service rules

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced it will hold a public listening session on its regulatory proposal that would revise hours-of-service (HOS) requirements for commercial truck drivers on February 17, 2011 in Arlington, Virginia. The agency will also webcast the session live with a forum on its website for comments and questions in order to maximize public participation. The proposed HOS changes have widened a rift between the trucking industry, which asserts the proposed changes would restrict business excessively in already economically challenging times, and safety advocates who say the changes don’t go far enough in reducing ... Read More

Task force says sleep apnea is serious threat to truck drivers

A task force of medical professionals is calling for better screening procedures for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) among drivers of commercial trucks and busses. The sleep disorder, which is characterized by frequent pauses in breathing during sleep, can cause extreme drowsiness and fatigue in waking hours and is known to be prevalent among commercial drivers. In 2002, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the American Trucking Associations sponsored a study that found nearly one in three commercial truck drivers suffered from mild to severe OSA. In addition to sleeplessness and fatigue, the condition can cause acid reflux and other ... Read More