Truck Drivers’ Sleep Apnea: The Cause of Trucking Accidents?

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Four percent of the general population suffers from Sleep Apnea. Among truck drivers however, the percentage  who suffer from Sleep Apnea skyrockets to 30%. It is believed that this correlation is the result of Sleep Apnea risk factors that are commonly associated with those in the trucking industry, including: lifestyle, age, gender, and weight.

Sleep Apnea is a sleep disorder that momentarily restricts a person’s airway while they are sleeping.  This event causes poor sleep quality and exhaustion. Since the disorder occurs during sleep, it result in a loss of oxygen which may lead to a stroke, heart attack or even death.  Furthermore, people often are never diagnosed with the disorder.

Truck drivers suffering from sleep apnea may be the cause of a large percentage of trucking accidents.

A research study compared the number of accidents of 800 truck drivers diagnosed with Sleep Apnea to 800 truck drivers without  Sleep Apnea and the results very clear.  Drivers with Sleep Apnea had more than twice the number of accidents than drivers without the disorder; 250 crashes in a three year period versus just 123 crashes.

Risk factors for Sleep Apnea include:

  • Obesity with a body mass index of 33 or greater
  • High blood pressure
  • Age over 40
  • Nasal Obstructions
  • Male gender
  • Neck 17″ or larger
  • Cigarette smoking

Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Lack of concentration
  • Loud snoring
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Gasping for breath

The trucking industry has identified Sleep Apnea as one of the biggest factors contributing to tractor trailer accidents. The problem is that not enough is being done about it.  Trucking companies should implement Sleep Apnea screening, diagnosis, and treatment programs to help reduce the staggering number of accidents attributed to Sleep Apnea.

If you or your loved one was involved in a trucking accident, call me immediately at 1 (877) 944-4373. As your truck accident lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Summary
Article Name
Truck Drivers' Sleep Apnea: The Cause of Trucking Accidents?
Description
Can a sleep disorder cause truck accidents? The answer is yes! We know truck drivers spend long hours on the road and fall asleep at the wheel. What we didn't know is that truck drivers with Sleep Apnea have 2X the number of accidents as drivers without Sleep Apnea. We have to hold trucking companies accountable when their drivers' sleep disorder goes untested and untreated. A small, lightweight CPAP machine, which can easily travel with the truck driver, can save hundreds of lives annually.
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