Sleepy Pilots, Train Operators and Drivers

According to the National Sleep Foundation’s (NSF) 2012 Sleep in America® poll, the people we trust to take us or our loved ones from place to place struggle with sleep. It is the first poll to ask transportation professionals, including pilots, train operators,* truck, bus, taxi and limo drivers about their sleep habits and work performance.

The results of the poll are striking. About one-fourth of train operators (26%) and pilots (23%) admit that sleepiness has affected their job performance at least once a week, compared to about one in six non-transportation workers (17%).

The report states that perhaps more disturbingly, a significant number say that sleepiness has caused safety problems on the job. One in five pilots (20%) admit that they have made a serious error and one in six train operators (18%) and truck drivers (14%) say that they have had a “near miss” due to sleepiness.

Sleepiness has also played a role in car accidents commuting to and from work. Pilots and train operators are significantly more likely than non-transportation workers (6% each, compared to 1%) to say that they have been involved in a car accident due to sleepiness while commuting.

National Sleep Foundation Press Release
2012 Sleep in America Poll