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Exhausted Behind the Wheel of an 18 Wheeler, More Common than You Think

According to recent research, more than 40% of commercial motor vehicle drivers may have obstructive sleep apnea.

What is sleep apnea?

When you have this condition, your breath can become very shallow or you may even stop breathing — briefly — while you sleep. It can happen many times a night in some people.

Obstructive sleep apnea happens when something partly or completely blocks your upper airway during shut-eye.” – Web MD

Recently the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced the agencies were not moving forward with regulations that would require sleep apnea testing for commercial vehicle drivers and rail workers in safety sensitive positions.

Sleep apnea is a common condition, affecting an estimated 18 million Americans, or 1 in 15. The effects of sleep apnea vary based on the severity of the individual’s disorder, but may include narcolepsy (falling asleep without warning), exhaustion, increased risk of stroke, and so on.

Sleep apnea and drowsy driving are directly linked to an increased risk of a crash, in fact those who suffer from sleep apnea are six times more likely to die in a car crash.

If you or a loved one operate a commercial motor vehicle please consider being tested for sleep apnea, it could prevent a serious injury or even fatality. If you were injured in a commercial truck crash contact us today.