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News


provider that uses video systems and driver data to improve the efficiency and safety of commercial trucks, buses and trains. “With a fully-managed services program, school bus fleets benefit from immediate, actionable insights that help drivers understand what they’re doing behind the wheel—and improve their driving skills, so they can make better decisions and protect students.”


PROVIDING MEDICAL INTERVENTION FOR FATIGUED DRIVERS


All of the stress that is associated with school transportation could keep people up at night, or interfere with healthy sleep patterns. Fatigue degrades a person’s ability to stay awake, alert, and attentive to the demands of controlling their vehicle safely, according to NHTSA. Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night for optimum performance, health and safety. Keeping drivers healthy—and awake—during their routes is becoming a higher priority among many school districts. School Transportation News recently surveyed transportation profes- sionals on their approach to diagnosing or treating sleep apnea among their drivers. Only 11 percent of the nearly 300 respondents said they are currently taking action to address sleep-associated disorders among their drivers, in the form of covering the cost of diagnosis.


“Our physical provider (Pinnacle Medical Management) looks for signs of sleep apnea, because it can be very dangerous if untreated,” said Josh Rice, transportation director for New Caney Independent School District in Texas. District drivers are screened for obesity, breathing problems, daytime sleepiness and snoring. If someone is not currently diagnosed with sleep apnea but shows other signs, they may be asked to undergo a sleep study to rule out the possibility. Drivers who are diagnosed with sleep apnea and who use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, are required to provide a 30-day CPAP compliance report that ensures adequate treatment. Academy School District 20 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, takes sleep apnea seriously. “Since criteria for determining sleep apnea risk is not clearly established, doctors use their own criteria,” said Mark Ressel, director for transportation at Academy School District 20. “It all comes down to the individual doctor’s judgment whether or not an individual needs to undergo a sleep apnea test or is a risk (on the road).” 


Read an article from the November 2017 STN issue on how school districts that use three-point seat belts are seeing improved student behavior at stnonline.com/go/bu.


See Us At Booth #130 24 School Transportation News • JULY 2018


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