Sleep Apnea Compromises Truck Driver Safety and Potentially Other Driver’s Lives

An estimated one-third of commercial truck drivers have some form of sleep apnea, the University of Pennsylvania noted in a study. The study, which was sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the American Transportation Research Institute of the American Trucking Associations, found age and being overweight were the biggest causes of the disorder.

People with sleep apnea may fall asleep at abnormal times and experience daytime tiredness, morning headaches, lack of concentration and memory, as well as irritability and depression. Stanford University Medical School found that “drivers with untreated sleep apnea did worse on performance tests than healthy alert subjects whose blood alcohol concentrations was above the federal limit for driving a commercial motor vehicle.”

Truck accidents caused by sleep apnea are an unfortunate reality. Whether the driver was asleep, did not react quickly enough, or had problems focusing, individuals who need their questions answered after being involved in an accident should turn to competent legal counsel. FMSCA rules state that drivers with medical conditions or a history of a diagnosis that would hamper their ability to drive safely should not be allowed to drive a commercial vehicle. But because medical standards differ between states, it can be hard to ensure that the driver is healthy enough to be on the road.

The FMSCA’s latest safety facts show that 5,000 trucks drivers were in deadly crashes and 400,000 in accidents a year. And 200 hazmat trucks caused fatalities and 5,000 accidents. As the economy starts to recover, more goods are being bought and shipped by semi trucks and 18-wheelers. Compliance with safety standards becomes that much more important and driver adherence to maximum driving hours is vital. Electronic on-board recorders are being proposed by the FMSCA to ensure more compliance with the work hour maximums versus the current paper logs. Current logs must document hours driving, off-duty time and miles travelled.

As National Transportation Week kicks off on May 15, the Association for Global Logistics and Transportation (NDTA) will hold events around the country to highlight new transportation, travel and security processes as well as promote safety and improvements in the industry. Driver fatigue and sleep deprivation should be addressed. And those individuals affected by sleep apnea deserve to get the help they need to correct the issue.

But when faced with the aftermath of a truck accident, whether you are dealing with injuries or the loss of a loved one, knowledgeable legal counsel is key. In Illinois, Chicago truck accident attorney Paul A. Greenberg, Esq. will vigorously defend his clients’ rights to recover full compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, as well as lost wages. The Briskman Briskman & Greenberg team of Chicago truck accident lawyers will research liability, the truck’s inspection history, service violations, and previous claims of negligence. In addition to being adept at taking on complex cases, they also counsel truck drivers in crashes caused by another driver’s negligence.

Briskman Briskman & Greenberg serves individuals and their families in the Chicago metro area and throughout Illinois and Wisconsin. They handle accidents that occur on highways such as the I-94 Tri-State Tollway, the I-90 Kennedy Expressway, the I-290 Eisenhower Expressway, and the I-55 Stevenson Expressway.

To learn more, visit or call 877-595-HURT (4878)

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