A recent report by TruckingInfo.com has revealed that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is recommending that there be increased standards for evaluating whether a driver has sleep apnea. This announcement comes after two advisory panels recommended that the evaluation standards be more aggressive. The panels recommended that if the agency identifies a driver with a body mass index of 35 or more that driver should be sent for a sleep apnea evaluation. The agency has asked for public comment on the proposed regulation.
The panel also recommended that some circumstances immediately disqualify a driver. If a driver falls asleep at the wheel or if the driver is involved in an accident because of fatigue, they will be prevented from driving until they have been evaluated for sleep apnea and are undergoing treatment for the condition.
Evaluation and treatment for such a disorder is especially important for drivers. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that is caused by airflow obstruction during sleep. One of the primary symptoms of sleep apnea is fatigue and sleepiness during the day. For those individuals who drive for a living, success on the job depends on being able to remain alert. It is important that those in the transportation industry, such as truckers, are aware of the problem and attempt to reduce injuries to employees and others. According to a professor at Harvard Medical School, a person with sleep apnea is at a 242% greater risk of having a crash while driving than someone who does not suffer from the disorder. Numbers like that are scary and should be taken very seriously indeed.
Both employees of motor carriers and other drivers on the road should be protected from injury caused by a driver suffering from sleep apnea. Devastating trucking accidents can be caused when a driver is sleepy or distracted. Unfortunately, trucking accidents are very common and most of the time the accidents occur late at night when there are few witnesses to the event. If you have been involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer or any accident at all, call the Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC at 704-370-2828. They will work hard to get you the recovery that you deserve.
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