The news that sleep may have played a role in New York's Metro-North train derailment is a terrible reminder that sleep isn't just a personal health issue -- it is also a matter of public safety, when it comes to the rest of people who we entrust with others' lives.
As a society we've come to vehement consensus that drunk driving is unacceptable behavior. Yet we continue to tolerate sleepy driving. Many people who wouldn't dream of driving after one drink too many may very well get behind the wheel when feeling drowsy.
As a former intern at the MTA, I have seen first-hand that the constant lack of funding and political pressure to cut costs are beginning to take their toll on the condition of critical infrastructure and rolling stock.