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Sleep Apnea in Truck Drivers

Sleep apnea can be a major problem, especially for commercial truck drivers or anyone else that spends a lot of time behind the wheel. I had sleep apnea and the disorder is very prevalent in the commercial driving industry.
According to Digital Journal in a June 24, 2012 press release:

"Drowsy driving can be almost as dangerous as getting behind the wheel after too many cocktails. While most commercial truck drivers are professionals who would never drink on the job, they can easily overlook factors that put them at increased risk of a drowsy driving accident. Sleep apnea is a highly prevalent problem in the trucking industry. When this pervasive sleep disorder goes undiagnosed or untreated, it can lead to a big rig truck accident -- and injuries to other motorists or pedestrians.

Almost One Out Of Three Truckers Suffers From Sleep Apnea. Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes brief interruptions of breathing during sleep. It may be serious, even life-threatening -- but it often goes undiagnosed and unrecognized. Sleep apnea is a major contributor to daytime drowsiness, which can be deadly on the road. Conservative government estimates place the annual number of police-reported crashes that are the direct result of driver fatigue at 100,000.

Among commercial truck drivers, sleep apnea is a particularly acute threat. For one thing, commercial drivers are responsible for the safe operation of large, multi-ton vehicles; when truck drivers are involved in a crash, the potential for injuries or deaths is significantly amplified when compared to an accident involving only passenger vehicles. Equally scary is that fact that commercial vehicle drivers suffer from sleep apnea at a rate that far outpaces the American average."

While several carriers have started screening drivers for sleep apnea, make sure to get yourself checked out. Since truck driving is your career, you should have no problem with any procedures being covered. I myself have had sleep apnea surgery and it basically changed my life. If you suspect you might have an issue with sleep apnea, see your doctor and stay safe out there on the road..

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