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Duffy & Feemster

Sleep Apnea Can Be the Cause of Truck Driver Fatigue and Accidents

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Let's face the facts: Our country, as a whole, is pretty tired. We work long hours, don't get enough sleep and expect ourselves to operate at 100 percent even when we haven't had time to properly recharge.

This type of lifestyle is dangerous for anyone, but when you're a truck driver, this creates even more risk. For example, if an office worker falls asleep at her desk, the worst-case scenario is that she gets in trouble and possibly loses her job. If a truck driver falls asleep behind the wheel, he doesn’t just lose his job: he loses his life, and maybe takes the lives of others as well.

There are safety rules and regulations in place to try to control how long truck drivers can be on the road, but even with time to relax and sleep, some truck drivers still get back into their vehicles while they're feeling fatigued. Why does this happen? Sometimes, it can be traced to a driver having sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a breathing-related sleep disorder that causes brief interruptions in breathing during sleep. This can happen hundreds of times during the course of a night and ultimately affect a person's daytime alertness and performance. Individuals with untreated sleep apnea have an increased risk of being involved in a fatigue-related motor vehicle accident due to their inability to focus their eyes, stay awake, and react quickly.

If you're a truck driver and you've been noticing that you're tired even after a full night's sleep, you may want to consider getting tested so you can treat the problem as soon as possible.

Do you know someone with sleep apnea? Do you have sleep apnea? Leave us a comment and share your thoughts with us.

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