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The Hart Law Firm

Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Its Impact on Drivers

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and its high rate of occurrence in truck drivers is a hot topic. Many are upset that truck drivers are allowed to drive, despite the fact that their OSA puts them at high risk for drowsy driving. Drowsy driving is cited as a major contributor to crashes with large trucks, and many recent crashes show just how dangerous it is. In order to prevent crashes, it is crucial that we understand the impact that OSA has on drivers in Bedford and across Texas. The American Sleep Apnea Association has done extensive work tracking the dangers of OSA and driving. The following list represents some of their most shocking facts and statistics:

 

  • There are at least 20 million Americans currently suffering from obstructive sleep apnea

  • 85% of people with OSA are undiagnosed

  • Common ailments that often accompany OSA include high blood pressure, heart problems, sexual dysfunction, stroke, and depression

  • The yearly health care costs of people with OSA are twice as high as those without

  • Drivers with OSA are six times more likely to have a crash and seven times more likely to have many crashes

  • In the year 2000, over 800,000 drivers were involved in crashes related to OSA

  • Estimates show that if every driver with OSA was treated, 980 lives could be saved each year

 

Treatment is Key

 

The good news is that when properly treated, crash and health risks associated with OSA return to normal levels. However, too many truckers are either never diagnosed or don't follow through with a proper treatment regimen. This leaves the driver and everyone he shares the road with at risk for a crash caused by drowsy driving.

 

If all truckers with OSA, an estimated 60% of the work force, were treated, think of the number of crashes that could be prevented.

 

Fortunately, many safety advocacy groups are working to resolve this issue. Hopefully, more truckers will soon be getting a better night's sleep and crash rates will decline.

 

If you believe that a drowsy trucker caused your Bedford, TX semi-truck crash, you may have the right to be compensated for your many losses. Contact an experienced Bedford truck crash attorney at the Hart Law Firm. Both the initial consultation and the call are free. Call 1.800.856.2347 today.

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