Over-the-road truckers in Maryland are often under the pressure of tight deadlines and pay-per-miles driven. As a result, they may push themselves too far, and continue to drive when they can barely keep their eyes open.
Yet, these deadlines and pay motivators are not the only causes of fatigued truckers. Another issue drawing more attention is sleep apnea. This medical condition affects an individual’s ability to breathe while sleeping, causing them to awaken and disrupting their sleep patterns. For some, sleep apnea can cause as many as 400 disruptions in a single night. This can leave an individual extremely tired during the day. When driving a truck, this can be perilous not only for the driver, but other people on the road as well.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued rules stating that those who have a medical condition that is likely to interfere with their ability to safely operate their trucks cannot drive. If a trucker provides evidence that their condition has been successfully treated, however, then they may be medically cleared to drive.
When an issue like sleep apnea and trucker fatigue causes a truck accident, serious injuries often result. Victims of these accidents may be left with extensive damages, including lost wages and medical expenses, which can leave a victim on uncertain financial footing. Fortunately, legal options may be available to these victims, perhaps allowing them to recover compensation. However, these individuals need to know how to properly and successfully pursue their claims, which is where an experienced attorney may be able to help.
Source: FMCSA, “Driving When You Have Sleep Apnea,” accessed on Jan. 2, 2017