You may be aware that sleep apnea is a health condition that causes people to periodically stop breathing while they are asleep. While this potentially life-threatening condition is treatable, many people are unaware they have sleep apnea or they decide not to follow the proper treatment. Undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnea can put a person at risk while they sleep, but it can also result in dangers throughout the day. This is especially true for commercial truck drivers or operators of any type of large vehicles or machinery.
Sleep Apnea Leads to Fatigued Driving
When the body stops breathing due to sleep apnea, it subsequently wakes itself up to resume breathing. This can happen hundreds of times during a single night, which not only causes sleep disruptions but prevents a person from reaching the most restful stages of sleep. A person may wake thinking they got a full night’s sleep when in reality, their body and mind are not well-rested. When fatigue sets in during the day, they may not realize sleep apnea is the culprit.
Fatigued driving is a major concern for commercial truck drivers, as they spend many monotonous hours on the road, often in isolation. These are optimal conditions for fatigue to set in, therefore, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) strictly regulates1 driver work and rest times to prevent fatigued driving. However, even if a driver complies with all of the hours of service regulations, they can still become fatigued behind the wheel if they have undiagnosed sleep apnea.
While the FMCSA has issued warnings about the risks of undiagnosed sleep apnea, there is no requirement for all commercial truck drivers to be tested for the disorder. For this reason, sleep apnea may be the cause of your truck accident and an experienced truck accident lawyer should always investigate the health of the truck driver who caused your crash.
Discuss Your Case with a Skilled St. Louis Truck Accident Attorney Today
At Page Law, we have the resources to fully investigate the circumstances of your truck accident and determine who should be held liable. Please call our office for help at (314) 322-8515 today.