Earlier this year, the Senate unanimously passed a bill blocking the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration form making a rule that would require overweight and obese truck drivers to be tested for sleep apnea. According to a report by Transport Topics, the bill is supported by the American Truckers Associations which estimates that, had the rule taken effect, it would have cost the trucking industry $1 billion dollars. The American Truckers Associations spokesperson claimed that the rule was a result of “hastily issued guidance.”
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious breathing-related sleep disorder that causes interruptions in breathing during sleep. The disruptions can last up to ten seconds in length and can occur hundreds of times over the course of a night. The result is that those who suffer from sleep apnea notice the following symptoms:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Disturbed sleep
- Memory problems
- Concentration problems
- Irritability and/or feelings of sadness or depression
Sleep apnea is a treatable disease. However, it must first be diagnosed in order to be treated. Without treatment the symptoms can become exacerbated, decreasing a driver’s ability to safely be on the road. One study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that nearly 28% of commercial truck drivers suffer from mild to severe sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea and Truck Drivers
Truck drivers who can not perform their job have no business being on the road, increasing everyone’s exposure to danger. However, due to a general decreased quality of sleep, truck drivers suffering from sleep apnea generally feel groggy and sleepy all day long. This can make it difficult for them to stay awake, remain focused, and react quickly to sudden events that occur on the road. However, these are the basic job functions of a semi-truck driver.
When truck drivers ignore the dangers they cause to other drivers, they are being negligent. When an accident occurs because of this negligence, the accident victim is entitled to recover based on the truck driver’s–and the trucking company’s–negligence.
Have You Been Injured in a Trucking Accident?
Truck drivers operate the largest vehicles on the road. Weighing up to 80,000 pounds when loaded, semi-trucks are a veritable danger to all drivers. It would only make sense that those who operate these machines are in the best condition possible to do so. However, that is not always the case.
If you have been injured in a trucking accident, you should contact the Law Offices of William K. Berenson. Attorney Berenson is a dedicated Fort Worth truck accident attorney who is Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization as a Specialist in Personal Injury Trial Law. He has over 33 years of experience taking truck accident cases to trail with a successful track record and will do his best to secure a favorable jury verdict or large out-of-court settlement for you. Contact the Law Offices of William K. Berenson online.
See More Blog Posts:
Fatalities And Injuries From Tractor Trailer and Truck Crashes Rising, October 9, 2013.
Hire The Best Attorney For Your 18 Wheeler Crash Case, August 27, 2013.