Drivon Turner & Waters,PLC

How does sleep apnea affect truck drivers?

The tractor-trailers California residents see whizzing past them on highways weigh an astounding 30,000 pounds when empty and a maximum of 80,000 when loaded fully. Therefore, a truck accident with a car often yields devastating results for the automobile, its driver and occupants. Certain factors, in addition to size, associated with trucks make them more susceptible to be involved in crashes. This is why truck drivers need to be even more vigilant and careful on the road and sleep apnea prevents that from happening.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder related to breathing. It causes brief interruptions in sleep but these ten second interruptions can take place around 400 times a night. As a result of this lack of sleep, drivers can have morning headaches, drowsiness, excessive daytime sleepiness, trouble concentrating, memory problems and feelings of depression.

While sleep apnea can happen to people of all ages, certain factors to make people more prone to having it. Being overweight, being 40 years or older, smoking and alcohol use are all factors that can increase one's risk of having sleep apnea. A truck driver's lifestyle of remaining mostly sedentary and eating unhealthy food can be the reasons that one-third of truck drivers suffer from sleep apnea.

While many sleep apnea patients claim they fall asleep while driving, an obvious danger on the road, one need not be drowsy for a crash to take place. Any amount of inattentiveness or inability to focus on the road when operating a heavy vehicle can increase the risk of becoming involved in a fatigue related truck accident. Accident victims may have compensation rights against both the truck driver and the trucking company that should have been monitoring the driver. Consulting an experienced attorney can prove beneficial.

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