Trucking accident stories are all too common in the Bakken region. Now,
new research sheds light on truckers with sleep apnea. The study, noted in
Science Daily in March 2016, is the largest ever to focus strictly on CDL truckers with
sleep apnea. Researchers provide dramatic evidence of increased
trucking accident risk when drivers do no follow prescribed sleep apnea protocols.
How the Study was Conducted
Dr. Stephen Burks conducted the study. He is also a lead investigator at
the Truckers and Turnover Project headquartered at the University of Minnesota-Morris.
There were approximately 1,600 truckers in each of two groups. One group
consisted of truckers diagnosed with sleep apnea. The other, a control
group consisted of truckers with similar amounts of job experience.
Truckers with diagnosed sleep apnea all received positive airway pressure
(PAP) therapy. The automated machines could be used at home or in sleeper
berths to facilitate proper breathing for a better night's sleep.
Since each machine contained a memory chip that recorded all usage, it
was easy for researchers to determine each trucker's success, or lack
thereof, in using the machine.
Far More Accidents for Truckers Ignoring Treatment
The PAP data was then matched up with the accident history of these truckers.
The results were dramatic. Truckers failing to follow their prescribed
PAP therapy were in serious accidents more than
five times as often as those who followed, or partly followed, their sleep apnea
Researchers involved in the study called for regulations that would require
routine sleep apnea screening during required medical exams for truckers.
Failure to follow prescribed sleep apnea protocols could constitute evidence
of negligent conduct when certain truckers are in crashes. Victims of
such accidents may seek compensation for medical expenses, pain-and-suffering
and lost wages.
If you or a family member is a victim in a truck accident, it is possible
to benefit from a no-cost consultation with an attorney. To learn more, please