Trucker fatigue isn't always caused by lack of sleep

Trucker fatigue is one of the most common causes of crashes involving semi-trucks on Kentucky highways today. However, that fatigue is not always a direct result of not getting enough sleep. The Congressional Research Service reports that numerous truck crashes have been found to have been a result of sleep apnea. Truck drivers who suffer from sleep apnea can get a full night’s sleep, but still feel exhausted throughout the day.

More than 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. Nearly a third of truck drivers are included in that number. There are three types of sleep apnea, but the root problem is the same: people affected will stop breathing in their sleep several times throughout the night, usually without waking. This deprives people of a proper sleep, making them feel fatigued all the time.

The risk factors and symptoms

If it is not treated, sleep apnea can lead to a crash at the wheel, heart disease, diabetes and depression among other consequences. While it primarily affects black men and Latino men, other races and genders are susceptible to it. There are several risk factors for the condition:

  •       Overweight
  •       Genetics
  •       Older than 40
  •       Large neck
  •       Use of alcohol/tobacco products

Symptoms include loud snoring, constant exhaustion during the day, memory problems and headaches in the morning. Doctors can help with combatting sleep apnea by testing patients for the condition at a sleep center.

Sleep apnea and driving

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration explains that there is no law that prevents people with sleep apnea from becoming a commercial truck driver. A medical examiner can recommend that certain people at risk for the condition should be screened before becoming a driver, but it is not required. That is something the FMCSA is working to change. As of now, the rule states that people with sleep apnea cannot be “medically qualified” to drive, but that status changes upon proper treatment. Sleep apnea can be detrimental to drivers, so getting tested before driving is important.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Get A Free Consultation

Get The Help You Need — Free Consultation

Take the first step toward a brighter future. Call 270-282-7975 anytime, day or night, to speak to someone about your legal needs. You can also request your free consultation online.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Free Consultation
270-282-7975

Office Location

Debra L. Broz, Attorneys at Law, PLC
130 East Professional Park
Bowling Green, KY 42104

Phone: 270-282-7975
Fax: 270-782-8637
Map & Directions
Bowling Green Law Office Map