Sleep Apnea and Truck Drivers

By | May 10, 2016

Should Truck Drivers Be Tested For Sleep Apnea?

Drowsy truck drivers could be putting you at risk on the road if they have sleep apnea.

I wrote a blog earlier about driving and the risk of accidents for people who had sleep apnea. Well, there is a new study out that was looking specifically at truck drivers who have sleep apnea. TheyTruck Driver Accident Possibly Due to Sleep Apnea noticed that there was a direct correlation between the drivers who were using their CPAP machines and those who weren’t. The study showed that the truck drivers with sleep apnea and weren’t using their CPAP treatment properly were at a greater risk of having a serious, preventable crash by a factor of five.

Truck drivers are often required to be tested for sleep apnea by their employer by participating in a sleep study and if it is determined that they have sleep apnea, a doctor will start them on CPAP treatment.

It should be pointed out that many of those truck drivers that were involved in accidents either quit or lost their jobs.

Current regulations allow truck drivers to go and work for another company without informing them that they have sleep apnea but researchers believe that truck drivers should have to disclose their history with sleep apnea.

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4 thoughts on “Sleep Apnea and Truck Drivers

  1. Caroline

    What a great blog .I agree that sleepy drivers are dangerous on the road . They work crazy hours that they don’t realize they need their eight hours of sleep . The right hour of sleep is very important and make a lot of difference plus more aware.

    1. Shawn

      Hi Caroline,
      Thank you for your comments! You are absolutely right. I know they tend to drive great distances without a break and must get tired. The fact that they drive such big vehicles poses more of a danger if they don’t get their proper sleep.

  2. Viola Gary

    This is good information on the conditions and cure for Sleep Apnea. There really is, in my opinion, one cure for this health problem. Proper amount of sleep. Drivers who drive long distances need to space the drive and rest period accordingly. Don’t you agree? As for long distance drivers, testing for sleep apnea along with drug testing, is crucial to not only their personal safety, but the safety of drivers traveling on the same road(s). Also, work history and medical history should always be on the application. I hope this issue gets more notoriety than is has at present. Lives are important.

    1. Shawn Post author

      Hi Viola!
      Thanks very much for your comments. I would tend to agree with you that everyone needs the proper amount of sleep. However, someone with sleep apnea that isn’t getting treatment, doesn’t get the proper amount of good sleep, no matter how long they are asleep. I also agree with you that all long distance truck drivers should be tested for everyone’s safety, including their own. I don’t know this for a fact but I have a feeling that companies don’t want to pay for their drivers to have sleep studies done partly due to the costs involved. I hope that trucking companies develop policies for their drivers to become better educated on the topic of sleep apnea and to pay for the sleep studies on behalf of their drivers, if they suspect they may have it.


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