Truck drivers who fail to undergo treatment for sleep apnea, or fail to stick with their treatment regimen have a much higher risk of being involved in a truck accident.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that is usually linked to obesity. Persons, who suffer from this disorder, may suffer from respiratory disturbances during sleep which leads to disturbed sleep. When a person who suffers sleep apnea is behind the wheel of a massive tractor-trailer, often weighing more than 80,000 pounds, there is a high risk of a serious accident that can result in significant injuries and fatalities.
A new study that was conducted by researchers focused on more than 1,600 truck drivers, who suffered from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a sleeping disorder that disrupts sleeping patterns when airways close, reducing oxygenation and REM cycle sleeping. Over time, this disorder can lead to severe fatigue, increased high blood pressure and daytime drowsiness. In the study, truck drivers diagnosed with apnea were prescribed treatment consisting of the use of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Machine (CPAP) which keeps the airwaves open during sleep and allowing for better sleep and oxygenation. The researchers then compared the effects of this treatment on those truck drivers who did not suffer from sleep apnea.