Commercial trucks can weigh up to 30 times more than passenger vehicles, so even a slow-speed accident is likely to cause injuries and significant property damage. You would think, then, that it would be illegal for a person with a sleep disorder to drive a big-rig; however, that’s not the case.
According to a 2016 study conducted by the University of California, nearly 1 in 3 CDL drivers in the United States has sleep apnea, which is a sleep disorder that causes irregular breathing during sleep.
People with sleep apnea often feel persistent fatigue, and it seems to have a profound impact on the performance of commercial truckers: Data from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine revealed that truckers with sleep apnea are five times more likely to be involved in preventable accidents than those who do not have the condition. What’s more, a Monash University study revealed that fatigue contributes to nearly 1 in 5 tractor-trailer wrecks.
If you were hurt in a truck accident that another driver caused, contact Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates. An injury attorney will evaluate the merit of your claim in a free initial consultation. Call 855-290-8080 today to discuss your case with an auto accident lawyer in San Diego.
What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
According to the Journal of Commerce, it is likely that federal regulations will soon prohibit people with sleep apnea from driving tractor-trailers. If this happens, CDL drivers would have to be tested for the condition.
Truckers are not the only drivers who are affected by fatigue. All motorists should know if they have sleep apnea or another condition that could affect their performance behind the wheel.
If you notice any of these eight symptoms, you may have sleep apnea:
- Headaches or nausea in the morning;
- Persistent fatigue throughout the day;
- Waking up many times at night to urinate;
- Feeling irritable or depressed;
- Loss of libido;
- Inability to concentrate or remember events; or
- Irregular sleep patterns.
According to WebMD, the following are effective treatments for sleep apnea:
- Losing weight and making other healthy lifestyle changes;
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), which helps you breathe by using positive airway pressure;
- Nasal dilators and other wearable breathing devices;
- Medication to prevent drowsiness; and
- In some cases, surgery.
Sadly, many drivers ignore the symptoms of sleep apnea. If you were injured by a motorist who was drowsy, drunk, distracted or otherwise negligent, you may be entitled to compensation.
The auto accident lawyers at Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates have been litigating personal injury cases on behalf of California residents for almost 30 years. We have recovered more than $150 million for our clients.
Call 855-290-8080 today to schedule a free initial consultation with an injury attorney in San Diego. If you would like to learn more about truck accident claims in California, visit USAttorneys.com.