MSNBC is out with an article about the dangers posed by heavy, drowsy truck drivers. Apparently a growing number of trucking firms are screening drivers who are considered at risk for sleep apnea, and then pay to monitor and treat divers who have the condition.
Sleep scientists at Harvard University have renewed a call for federal regulations that requires mandatory testing of all obese drivers. These researches believe that there is a strong link between obese drivers and truck crashes that kill more than 5,200 and injure over than 100,000.
“Screenings of truck drivers will be ineffective unless they are federally mandated or required by employers,” said researcher Dr. Stefanos N. Kales.
There have been numerous reports of truck accident fatalities due to drivers with sleep apnea. In May 2005, a Kansas mother and her 10-month-old child were killed when a truck collided with their SUV, and a Tennessee Highway Patrol officer died in 2000 when a truck struck his police car as he guarded a highway work zone. The drivers of both we known to have suffered from sleep apnea. Some studies state that nearly one in three drivers has sleep apnea, and that sleep apnea increases the risk of an accident by two to seven times.
Federal regulators have been considering a new regulation for more than a year that would require screeing drivers whose body mass index exceeds 30. No action has yet been taken on the new rule.
The San Diego personal injury lawyers at Walton Law Firm LLP represent individuals and families who have been injured in all types of accidents, including car accidents, motorcycle accidents, trucking accidents, bicycle accidents, construction accident. Call (866) 607-1325 for a free consultation.