Driving is an activity that always comes with risk. You have no idea if the car or truck next to you is being driven by someone who is not paying attention or who may be driving under the influence. Commercial trucks are of particular concern – their sheer size virtually guarantees that, when the driver makes a mistake, the consequences will be severe.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a medical condition that may afflict up to one-third of all commercial truck drivers. It is a breathing-related sleep disorder, where breathing interruptions occur while the person is asleep. The breathing literally pauses, for as much as 10 seconds at a time and as many as 400 times during the night.
Not surprisingly, sleep apnea affects both the quality and quantity of sleep, making someone who experiences it less alert during the day. For commercial drivers, this means decreased performance at a time when they’re sharing the road with unsuspecting motorists. The commercial driver may have a more difficult time staying awake, focusing on the task at hand and reacting promptly to changes in traffic or road conditions.
If you are injured in an accident involving a commercial vehicle, it’s critical that you seek the assistance of someone knowledgeable and experienced in these types of accidents. A thorough investigation must be conducted into the accident itself, the driver and the companies they worked for. If sleep apnea was the reason the accident occurred, it will probably not show up in a police report. Instead, it will be revealed from a thorough search of records and driver history.