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:
- 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.
Author: Tim Misny | For over 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 1 (800) 556-4769.