Floridians are accustomed to sharing the road with large trucks. There is no denying the dangers they pose. Their size, the speeds at which they travel, the distance the drivers must go and other factors increase the risk. If a driver is suffering from a condition like sleep apnea, it can lead to a truck accident with injuries and fatalities.
Sleep apnea negatively impacts a person’s breathing. There are three kinds of sleep apnea including central (CSA), obstructive (OSA) and complex (CSAS). Each has a similar result: the person who suffers from it will have difficulty breathing, something that hinders sleep. The most common type of sleep apnea for truckers is OSA. With OSA, the person will repeatedly have his or her sleep interrupted when their airway is blocked and they cannot breathe for up to 10 seconds.
Even if a trucker has an extended period of sleep, OSA will deprive them of its restorative properties. Research indicates that the chance of a truck accident can be increased by up to 250% for those who have sleep apnea. Drivers who snore, find themselves gasping for air while sleeping or still feel tired after a night of sleep could have sleep apnea. Headaches, feeling irritable, memory problems and other symptoms are also signs of sleep apnea.
Ways to mitigate the chance of sleep apnea causing an accident include accurately diagnosing it, encouraging the drivers to get into better physical condition, having surgery, getting a CPAP machine and other tactics. Unfortunately, not every trucker is even aware of having sleep apnea. Those who have been injured or lost a loved one in a truck crash should know if sleep apnea was a cause. A law firm experienced in truck accidents may be able to help.