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Sleep disorder in drivers raises danger of a truck accident

With large trucks such a prominent sight on the roadways of Louisiana, there is a constant risk of being in an accident with one. It is with this in mind that regulatory agencies are seeking to find ways to increase safety. Part of that is conducting studies as to why certain accidents happen. This information can also provide the foundation for a legal filing for compensation to those who were hurt or the loved ones of those killed.

Information regarding sleep apnea in truckers is indicative of the increased danger of being in a truck accident. According to research, truck drivers who have untreated sleep apnea are at five times greater risk than those who do not have it. The study attempts to analyze obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). With sleep apnea, the person might enter a light sleep from a deep sleep because of pauses or shallowness of breath.

The treatment for this is usually a machine that helps with airway pressure. A mask will be placed over the sufferer’s nose and mouth or just the nose. This allows air into the person’s throat while he or she is asleep. In the study, 2,016 drivers were part of a control group that was not deemed likely to have sleep apnea. They were compared with 1,613 who had it. The rates of crashes were then compared. 682 who had been diagnosed used the machines. 571 were partially treated. 360 were not treated. Those who did not receive treatment were five times as likely to be in a preventable truck accident.

When a person is involved in a semi-truck crash, there can be significant injuries that make it difficult for them to return to normal functioning. They might need a long hospital stay, extensive rehabilitation and their family might end up having to provide care for them. If there was a fatality, the family left behind will have to learn how to move forward practically, emotionally and financially. This is made worse when the accident could have been prevented by the truck company and driver vigilance over potential issues such as sleep apnea. Those who have been in a trucking accident due to a driver with sleep apnea need to have a full investigation into the incident to provide the basis for a lawsuit. A qualified attorney can help.

Source: ccjdigital.com, “Study: Truck drivers with untreated sleep apnea pose much greater crash risk,” Jim Dunn, March 23, 2016

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