Sleep apnea and its effect on commercial truck drivers

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Sleep apnea is a condition that disrupts breathing during sleep, causing sleep disturbances, insufficient rest and long-term health complications. More than 25 percent of semi-truck drivers have symptoms of mild to moderate apnea that affects their sleep on a daily basis. Insufficient sleep interferes with rational driving behaviors and reactions, posing a safety risk on the road.

Sleep apnea testing is important for truck drivers to ensure safe driving.

Why are semi-truck drivers prone to sleep apnea?

Commercial truck drivers lead a sedentary life while they are on the road for many hours behind the wheel. The lifestyle often leads to poor meal choices from truck stops and fast food places, which causes weight gain. Poor dietary choices and excess weight increase sleep apnea risk.

How do semi-truck drivers get sleep apnea testing?

Sleep apnea testing requires a sleep study with a doctor’s oversight. Modern technology allows for completing initial sleep studies at home with portable testing equipment. Most physicians reserve sleep lab testing for those candidates who show symptoms in initial testing.

How are semi-truck drivers with sleep apnea treated?

Semi-truck drivers with sleep apnea typically receive a CPAP to treat apnea symptoms. Using the device consistently reduces symptoms, improves sleep and reduces the risk of complications behind the wheel.

Truck drivers with sleep apnea may suffer drowsiness and slow response times which affect their driving behaviors. Any accident caused due to neglecting sleep apnea treatment is a liability concern, making apnea testing and treatment critical for commercial truck drivers.