Have You Been Injured? We're Ready to Fight for You.

Study Finds High Incidence of Sleep Apnea for Truck Drivers

Published on Aug 26, 2013 at 1:23 pm in Trucking Accident.

Kentucky Truck Accident Truck drivers as a population have been found to be at a high risk for sleep apnea. A study sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the American Trucking Association (ATA) found that 28% of commercial truck drivers have mild to severe sleep apnea.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a common disorder that causes breaks in your breath or shallow breathing while you sleep. These pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. Then normal breathing resumes, sometimes with a telltale snort or choking sound. This can happen up to 30 times or more in an hour.

Symptoms can include:

  • Snoring
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Waking up with a sore, dry throat
  • Waking up with a choking sensation

In many ways, the lifestyle of trucking puts drivers at a higher risk for sleep apnea. Many drivers don’t exercise and eat a lot of fast food on the road, and obesity is one of the highest risk factors for sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea often goes undiagnosed. Your regular doctor wouldn’t necessarily uncover the condition in a routine office visit, as a proper diagnosis generally requires a sleep study.

Can It Be Treated?

Sleep apnea is a chronic condition, but it can be treated. Depending on the severity of the problem, symptoms can be reduced through lifestyles changes or more invasive procedures. According to the Mayo Clinic:

“For milder cases of sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend only lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or quitting smoking. If these measures don’t improve your signs and symptoms or if your apnea is moderate to severe, a number of other treatments are available. Certain devices can help open up a blocked airway. In other cases, surgery may be necessary.”

Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to other health problems – and it can lead to accidents while driving. The effect of apnea fatigue on someone who drives for hours at a time is potentially deadly.

The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that one study found drivers with untreated sleep apnea performed worse on a skills test than a driver with blood alcohol above the federal limit.

Meet Your Team

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out-of-pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Legal & Firm News

What You Need to Know About Business Litigation and Contingency Fees

If your business has ever been involved in a legal matter, you may be surprised to hear the two phrases together: business litigation and contingency fees. Traditionally, it has been more common to associate a contingency fee model with personal injury law involving individual parties rather than businesses. But this is no longer always the […]

Read More

Signs of PTSD in Military Service Members

It’s estimated that up to one-third of military service members suffer from PTSD. PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, is a mental health condition that can develop following a traumatic event. This usually means an event involving actual or threatened death, serious injury, or abuse. People who have seen combat, witnessed death, or experienced a life-threatening situation […]

Read More

AAA Conducts Study Examining Travel Before and During COVID-19

In 2021, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s New American Driving Survey revealed shifts in driving, traveling, and commuting patterns in the United States. The statistics gathered between July 2019 and December 2020 cannot be analyzed without consideration of COVID-19’s unignorable impact on the numbers—numbers showing marked differences from previous years’ findings.

Read More