Sleep apnea can make a truck driver dangerous to others

This blog has previously discussed the hazards tired truck drivers present to Bay Area motorists. On many occasions, truckers operate while too tired because they are rushing to get a load delivered, sometimes for profit and, at other times, because they feel pressure from their employers to do so.

This, indeed, is hazardous behavior that can lead to serious and even fatal truck accidents. However, many tired truck drivers are not in that condition simply by staying up all night driving.

For example, truck drivers who suffer from sleep apnea may show signs of fatigue even in broad daylight and even when they think they have gotten enough rest at night. Someone with sleep apnea will stop breathing for a few seconds while they sleep, causing their sleep to be disrupted. These disruptions can occur up to several hundred times each night.

Aside from snoring, a person who has sleep apnea will oftentimes wake up irritable and groggy because, in reality, he did not get enough sleep. The person will likely feel tired during the day and could also experience difficulty focusing and remembering things.

Unfortunately, this condition often goes undetected. For truck drivers with this condition, it means that the driver will struggle to stay awake while behind the wheel. Even if they do manage to do so, their chances of having a crash go up considerably since they are prone to being inattentive and unlikely to respond quickly to changes in road and traffic conditions.

Even if it is unintentional, a driver who causes an accident due to fatigue caused by sleep apnea is responsible to her victims because it is her job to make sure she is physically able to drive a truck safely. Those who have been injured in a truck accident may be able to learn more about a trucker's medical condition that contributed to an accident in question by engaging in discovery. This is a process where a skilled legal professional may prove beneficial.

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