Sleep Apnea in the Trucking Industry
Truck drivers are often on the road for many days at a time and work long hours in solitude. There is no question that fatigued driving is a serious problem in the trucking industry. In fact, federal statistics show that driver fatigue is a reported factor in about 13% of large truck collisions every year.
One of the most notorious causes of fatigued driving among commercial truck drivers is sleep apnea.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes breathing to stop and start repeatedly during the night due to the upper airway being obstructed. The constant interruptions in breathing make going into rapid eye movement (REM) sleep almost impossible and lead to chronic fatigue.
Certain risk factors of the disorder make it prevalent in the trucking industry, such as:
Obesity or a high body mass index (BMI)
How Does Sleep Apnea Cause Truck Accidents?
The human body cannot function properly when it is deprived of proper deep sleep, and it especially makes it dangerous to operate a large vehicle like a semi, big rig, tractor-trailer, or any vehicle for that matter. Sleep deprivation causes adverse effects on the body while it’s awake, such as:
A decrease in alertness
Inability to make last-minute decisions or maneuvers
Translated behind the wheel, this can lead to truck drivers missing traffic signs, drifting between lanes, or trouble maintaining a correct or safe speed. Ultimately, sleep deprivation caused by sleep apnea greatly increases the risk of devastating truck crashes.
Injured in a Truck Accident?
If you’re injured in a truck accident caused by a fatigued driver, the truck driver or the trucking company may have violated federal hours-of-service regulations or other guidelines set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Pursuing compensation for any truck accident requires an extensive investigation and a dedicated team of legal advocates on your side. At the Law Offices of Vic Feazell, our truck accident attorneys are committed to helping injury victims obtain the compensation they deserve and need to heal. We will work hard to hold responsible parties accountable and fight for your recovery.
Contact our truck accident attorneys at (512) 271-5278 to get started on your case. We are available 24/7 to take your call and can provide you with a phone or video consultation during the coronavirus pandemic.