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Sleep apnea and the trucking industry

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Every motorist knows that an accident can happen anytime and anywhere. So you do your best to drive safely, to keep yourself and your family out of danger. But some drivers can be inherently more dangerous than others – due to medical issues or the type of vehicle they drive. Combine those two and disaster awaits.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a disorder which affects the ability of a person to get a good night’s sleep. For someone who has it, their breathing quite literally pauses, for as much as 10 seconds at a time. And this can happen hundreds of times per night. Not surprisingly, this negatively impacts both the quality of sleep and the total amount of sleep they get, leaving them tired when they get behind the wheel.

In the trucking industry, it’s estimated that as many as one-third of commercial truck drivers are afflicted with sleep apnea. This is a dangerous combination, since the sheer mass of an 18-wheeler greatly increases the chances of serious injury or death when it causes an accident. For those driving passenger cars, they don’t stand a chance.

There must be an investigation into the accident

It’s easy to blame only the truck driver when they cause an accident and stop there, but there’s often more to the story. Shipping and transportation companies exert enormous pressure to ensure that deliveries are made quickly – their priority is often profits over safety. And their actions can implicate them as helping to cause an accident. But the only way to find that out is by looking deeper, into the driver’s medical records and the company’s business records. If a driver has sleep apnea, it’s not something you’ll discover without digging.