Why Are Commercial Truckers Prone to Sleep Apnea?
Drowsy driving in the commercial trucking industry is extremely prevalent for many reasons. One factor behind why truckers have a difficult time paying attention to the road and their surroundings is due to their inability to get quality sleep because of the condition known as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when a person has their breathing disturbed while they sleep having multiple instances where breathing stops. There are several serious medical conditions that can develop because of sleep apnea that goes undiagnosed and treated. In the short-term, though, individuals suffering from sleep apnea will struggle to get the rest they need to be alert and awake during the day.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine estimates that a minimum of 25 million Americans suffers from sleep apnea with 20% of commercial truck drivers afflicted with the ailment. The Department of Transportation has labeled sleep apnea a safety issue with respect to its occurrence in all parts of the transportation industry. This makes sense due to the daytime fatigue that is so commonly associated with sleep apnea.
Why is Sleep Apnea so Widespread in the Commercial Trucking Industry?
Sleep apnea is a problem for many adults in the United States, but the trucking industry has a particular issue with the malady. The lifestyle of a truck driver can be the reason why these individuals are more prone to suffering from sleep apnea than others in different professions. For example, it is very challenging for a professional truck driver to stay in good shape and maintain a healthy lifestyle. There is extreme pressure in the industry to make deadlines, and in the process of trying to transport cargo quickly from one destination to the next, there is limited time or options for eating healthful foods. Not to mention, the nature of their work is hours on end sitting. The lack of physical activity coupled with a poor diet and increased stress make for inferior health outcomes.
Due to the established connection between excess weight and sleep apnea, truckers will be a vulnerable demographic at high risk of developing the condition. A study was done by the National Institute for Occupational Safety that showed that commercial truck drivers exhibited rates of obesity twice that of the overall working population. Adding to the problem is that the commercial trucking industry has higher numbers of drivers engaging in other unhealthy habits that can lead to disease progression such as smoking cigarettes.
Speak with an Arizona Commercial Truck Lawyer Today
Sleep apnea is a health crisis and its pervasiveness in the commercial trucking industry makes it a significant public safety issue as well. If you have been hit and injured in an Arizona commercial truck accident, don’t wait to connect with the most experienced Arizona commercial truck accident attorneys at ELG for help with your Arizona personal injury claim. You can call the Phoenix serious injury attorneys at ELG to schedule your free consultation at (623) 877-3600. The Phoenix truck accident injury attorneys at ELG have the most extensive experience helping victims of Phoenix commercial truck accidents secure the maximum amount of compensation possible after their accident experience.