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The effects of sleep apnea on the ability to drive a truck

Human error, mechanical problems and other issues can affect a truck driver’s ability to drive safely. As you travel the roads of Louisiana with the mammoth vehicles driven by these men and women, you have no way of knowing whether the driver or the truck has a problem that could put your life in jeopardy.

For instance, a sizable number of truck drivers suffer from an undiagnosed and/or untreated condition that would certainly put your life in danger. Sleep apnea is a serious condition even without the person suffering from it driving a vehicle that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds.

The symptoms and repercussions of sleep apnea

As of the writing of this article, the law does not prohibit a truck driver with sleep apnea from being on the road. However, many drivers may not even be aware they suffer from this condition, and it can cause a host of symptoms and repercussions, such as those listed below:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Headaches
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Cardiac risk
  • Hypertension

It doesn’t take much to realize that someone driving under these conditions is a danger to those around him or her. Things can get even worse when a driver knows he or she suffers from sleep apnea but fails to comply with treatment requirements for some reason. If you end up on the road with a truck driver with sleep apnea, whether he or she knows it or not, you may end up in an accident with severe consequences to your life.

What to do after a crash with a truck driver suffering from sleep apnea

If the investigation into your truck accident reveals that the driver suffered from either an undiagnosed or untreated case of sleep apnea, that information could prove highly relevant to any personal injury claim you make. This fact could help prove negligence or recklessness, and you could ultimately receive an award for damages that include your medical costs, loss of income, pain and suffering, and more.

In your pursuit of the compensation you deserve for your injuries and other damages, the truck driver may not be your only source of compensation. His or her employer could also bear some legal liability for what happened. Truck drivers are often under a great deal of pressure to deliver their loads, and their employers could be the source of that stress. In addition, employers may bear some responsibility for the actions of their employees.