In order to receive or renew a commercial driver’s license (CDL),1 the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires that truck drivers must be medically examined and cleared as healthy enough to operate these large and potentially dangerous vehicles. While many health conditions may disqualify a truck driver from holding a CDL if not properly treated, one dangerous health condition may be allowed that is leading to truck accidents – sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea causes a person’s breathing to halt numerous times during the night, and the body briefly wakes up so breathing can restart. While a person may not even realize they are waking up hundreds of times during the night, these disruptions in sleep can add up and can cause extreme fatigue during the day. Medical professionals have said that people with untreated sleep apnea have trouble with focus and may even nod off during daily activities. For truck drivers, this can mean fatigued driving, which often causes serious accidents and injuries to other motorists.
The FMCSA does give warnings to commercial drivers about the dangers of driving with sleep apnea2 that is not properly treated. However, as of now, there is no specific requirement that truck drivers be screened for the condition in order to obtain a CDL. This means that there may be thousands of commercial drivers on the road every day who are fatigued and may not even realize why.
There are different ways to determine whether fatigued driving caused your truck accident and the help of an experienced truck accident attorney is critical to protecting your rights to recover for medical bills and other injury-related losses.
Contact a Chicago Truck Accident Attorney for a Free Consultation Today
If you have been injured in a truck accident, sleep apnea and fatigued driving may be to blame. An experienced Chicago truck accident lawyer can help to determine who should be held liable for your injuries. Please call the legal team at Abels & Annes, PC today at 312-924-7575 for more information about how we can help you.