Truckers with sleep apnea are endangering lives in Florida and across the country. While only 4% of the general population suffer from the sleep disorder, studies show that up to 35% of truck drivers have it.
There are a few kinds of sleep apnea, but truckers are most likely to suffer from a type called obstructive sleep apnea. This condition causes a person’s palate and throat muscles to collapse during sleep, causing loud snoring, air blockages and sleep disruption. If left untreated, it can lead to a number of serious health problems, including hypertension and heart disease. Being overweight is one of the known risk factors associated with sleep apnea, and truckers may be more susceptible to obesity because their job is sedentary.
Excessive daytime drowsiness is one of the primary symptoms of sleep apnea. This is because sufferers are left gasping for breath dozens of times a night, causing them to get poor sleep. Truck drivers who are drowsy behind the wheel could lose control of their vehicle and cause a serious wreck. Because of this, traffic safety experts urge all at-risk truck drivers to get screened for sleep apnea. There are several medical treatments available that can remedy the problem and significantly improve a trucker’s nightly sleep quality.
Truck accidents can cause catastrophic injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, back injuries and neck injuries. Individuals injured in a crash caused by a negligent truck driver might be eligible to receive a financial settlement that covers medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property loss and more. If someone is killed in a truck accident, his or her family may be able to file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for their loss. Victims might have their case assessed by contacting a personal injury law firm for a consultation.