According to medical experts, untreated sleep apnea puts truckers at great risk of getting involved in a severe accident. Daytime fatigue and drowsiness are common factors of obstructive sleep apnea among truckers. A survey found that among 1000 truck drivers, 80 preventable and serious accidents happen due to sleep apnea. If you are involved in a truck accident, click on learn more to hire a truck accident lawyer.
Sleep apnea among truckers posing threats
Sleep apnea is a condition that causes interruptions while breathing during sleep. It is a severe medical condition with significant consequences, like fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and an increased risk of accidents. This disease is particularly concerning among truckers because it leads to drowsiness and impaired driving, putting both the truck driver and other motorists at risk.
Studies show that truckers are more prone to be hit by sleep apnea than any other population. It is due to long hours of driving, irregular sleep schedules, and other lifestyle schedules contributing to the development of sleep apnea.
To fix this issue, many trucking companies and regulators started screening programs to identify truckers at risk of developing sleep apnea. Drivers diagnosed with sleep apnea are generally required to undergo treatment, like using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine while sleeping, to treat their condition. Sleep apnea is still a significant problem for truckers despite such measures, and there is an ongoing debate to address the issue.
Consequences of not treating sleep apnea problems
Increased risk of accidents
Sleep apnea can cause drowsiness and fatigue, which can impair the driver’s ability to concentrate and react to sudden changes on the road. This can increase the risk of accidents, particularly on long drives where drivers have to drive for hours or days.
Drivers with sleep apnea may feel tired and groggy during the day, reducing their productivity and efficiency. It becomes difficult for truck drivers, who are often pressured to meet tight deadlines and schedules.
Sleep apnea can cause various health issues, like, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. If the condition is left untreated, it can have serious long-term health issues for drivers.
Increased healthcare costs
If a driver develops a significant health issue due to sleep apnea, it can increase healthcare costs for the driver and the trucking company.
The impact of not requiring sleep apnea testing for truck drivers can be significant, both in terms of health and safety. It is essential for trucking companies to look at this issue seriously and take steps to screen and treat sleep apnea.