Knoxville, TN- Fatigue among truck drivers is much-talked about road safety issue, and a common cause of driver fatigue is sleep apnea. Now, a new study shows a truck driver who suffers from untreated sleep apnea, a breathing disorder that interrupts a sufferer’s sleep, is four to five times more likely to cause an accident than truck drivers who don’t suffer from the condition or are getting proper treatment.
A recent study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute analyzed 12 months of data from a large trucking company that compared the performance of truck drivers who suffered from sleep apnea. Schneider, Inc. began conducting sleep apnea surveys in 2006 and shared their data with researchers.
Researchers compared data collected from 1,613 drivers with obstructive sleep apnea to 2,016 drivers who did not suffer from the condition. Some of sleep apnea sufferers were receiving the appropriate treatment while some drivers were not. It turns out those truckers who were not adhering to treatment are a road hazard.
In a press release, Stephen Burks, lead author of the research article and professor of economics and management at the University of Minnesota, Morris, explained “What we found is that, if we look at 1,000 truck drivers each working for a year, the drivers with obstructive sleep apnea who refuse treatment would have 70 preventable serious truck crashes, compared to 14 crashes experienced by both a control group and by drivers with sleep apnea who adhered to treatment.”
While Schneider Inc. is vigilant and takes steps to prevent fatigued driving, the same cannot be said of other trucking companies. Just as troubling is the fact that even though sleep apnea is the primary cause of fatigued driving, there is no federal rule requiring truck drivers to disclose their condition to potential employers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has suggested regulations that could reduce fatigued driving accidents by requiring truck drivers to go through mandatory sleep apnea screening.
But trucking industry leaders continue to push back and insist that mandatory testing could result in some truck drivers being unfairly targeted for screening because they are overweight, which is a leading cause of sleep apnea, or suffer from diabetes.
Driver fatigue is common for passenger-vehicle motorists and the truck drivers alike, but the results or a commercial truck accident can be significantly more devastating. Victims typically suffer catastrophic injuries that change their lives, often for the worst, and they deserve justice. The most assured way for a truck accident victim to get justice is to retain a truck accident lawyer in Tennessee to work on their claim.
USAttorneys has a dedicated and professional team of injury lawyers who know how to secure an optimal settlement for you and your loved ones. Let us connect you with a truck accident lawyer in Knoxville who will help you with all stages of your truck accident claim. Our team of injury lawyers known how to make fair deals with insurers but are also capable of taking your claim to court if that’s what it takes. Either way, you can count on the lawyers at USAttorneys to stand up for you and your rights.