Drowsy Driving Dangerous For Truckers

Friday, April 13th, 2012, 7:43 pm

Have you ever gotten so drowsy while driving that you have almost fallen asleep? As frightening as that may be while driving the family sedan, imagine the same thing if you are a trucker driving an 18-wheeler.  A Texas woman recently won a $3.25 million lawsuit against a trucking company because one of their drivers fell asleep at the wheel and rear-ended her stopped car. The truck was going 65 mph – the woman’s husband died in the accident. The driver had been terminated from a prior job because he refused to get tested for sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea in the trucking industry is not a secret but what is shocking is just how prevalent the problem is. A study from Australia showed that 41% of the truck drivers in Australia have obstructive sleep apnea. Less than 5% of the drivers said they had previously been diagnosed with sleep apnea however. This study only looked at Australian truck drivers but the findings would probably match well with the American population of truck drivers. National Public Radio had previously reported that up to 33% of truck drivers in the US had sleep apnea.

Sleepy transportation workers are a danger and the problem is not limited to the people who drive the big rigs. Train operators, pilots and others all have reported experiencing a “near miss” because of fatigue. Poor job performance for these types of jobs can result in lives being lost.

Does fatigue affected your work performance? If the answer is yes and you experience frequent daytime sleepiness or snore loudly you may suffer from a obstructive sleep apnea. Please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439 today to schedule your consultation.

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Category: Dental Sleep Medicine

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