Truck Drivers Not Checked For Sleep Apnea In Spite Of Dangers
A quick, unintended snooze is typically not a tragedy if it happens when working at a desk. But if you are behind the wheel of a big rig truck traveling down the highway, dozing off could lead to disaster.
So one would think that the government and its agencies that are tasked with keeping our roads safe would do everything possible to make sure that truck drivers who suffer from sleeping disorders receive proper treatment.
Unfortunately, when it comes to truck drivers with obstructive sleep apnea, this is not the case. Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that can cause extreme fatigue, and those who are considered obese are especially susceptible to its effects. This is important because a federal study indicates that almost two-thirds of truck drivers are figured to be obese. Even more damning is the fact that a study recently produced by Harvard found that truck drivers who suffer from sleep apnea have five times the likelihood of being involved in an accident than drivers who don't have the condition.
In 2012, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration put forth a proposal that called for overweight truck drivers to be examined for sleep apnea. But that proposal was later withdrawn. And lobbying by the trucking industry led to regulations that make it even more difficult to make changes to rules regarding checking drivers for sleep apnea.
So it appears that for the time being, there will be no effective oversight of truck drivers who may be suffering from sleep apnea. This is unfortunate because a fatigued truck driver is a hazard to all other road users.
If you or a family member has been injured in an accident caused by a fatigued truck driver, a Kentucky personal injury attorney may be able to help you get appropriate compensation to cover medical and other expenses.