Sleep Apnea: The Medical Condition That Might Lead to Trucking Accidents
According to a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the American Transportation Research Institute of the American Trucking Associations, sleep apnea is fairly common among truckers. What this means for others on the road is that an individual with untreated sleep apnea may present a higher risk for trucking accidents and the injuries that follow. The research study found that nearly one-third of commercial truck drivers have sleep apnea across the spectrum from mild to severe.
This sleep disorder causes the individual to have brief interruptions in sleep where breathing is paused. In more severe causes, these interruptions can happen as many as 400 times per night. When sleep is regularly affected and the condition goes untreated, daytime alertness can be affected. It’s hard to focus the eyes, stay alert and awake, and react as quickly as if you had slept soundly through the night. Some of the symptoms of sleep apnea include loud snoring, memory or concentration problems, feelings of depression, daytime sleepiness, gasping or choking while trying to sleep, and morning headaches.
Truckers might also experience general feelings of weariness and fatigue due to the schedules they sometimes keep on the road anyways, and the sleep apnea disorder can make this even worse. Since sleep apnea can have such a dramatic impact on a person’s sleep, this can cause major risk to other drivers on the road after a truck driver has had a difficult night with their disorder. Lack of focus and attention on the road might cause large accidents, injuries, and even fatalities.
While on the road, make sure to watch out for signs of a distracted or tired driver. If you have already been injured as a result of a truck driver, you need legal representation to protect you. Contact a Texas personal injury attorney today.