Sleep apnea is a condition that affects many in America. It is also a condition which played a role in the 2016 train wreck in Hoboken, New Jersey. Researchers from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found that the engineer involved suffered from obstructive sleep apnea. He had been medically examined two months earlier, but not tested for sleep apnea at that time. This has led some to call for stronger examination regulations for transportation workers. Responding to this claim, U.S. Senator Corey Booker of New Jersey has introduced legislation aimed at making it easier for the industry to identify health problems before they become a problem.
The Sleep Apnea Bill
President Donald Trump reversed a Department of Transportation mandate that required testing commercial transportation operators, such as truck drivers, train operators, and similar occupations for sleep apnea. The bill also includes treatment options for transportation workers with the condition. The focus of the bill is to enhance public safety by including the potentially fatal condition in transportation workers’ annual physicals, if detected. Proponents of the bill claim that this small measure could result in countless lives saved. The train wreck in New Jersey alone accounted for hundreds of injuries.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a disorder where breathing stops and starts repeatedly throughout the night. People with sleep apnea will feel tired, even after a full-nights rest. The three types of sleep apnea are:
- Obstructive: Relaxed throat muscles causing an obstructed airway
- Central: Disruption in the signals sent and received by the brain to the muscles
- Complex: A combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea
Regardless of the type of sleep apnea, a sufferer does not obtain the rest needed to safely function in a transportation job. Symptoms, such as irritability, headaches, and hypersomnia, can follow the sufferer well into the day. In such a role, falling asleep on the job can easily result in large-scale accidents. To be fully alert and focused on the road, it is best to take frequent rest stops and recognize when it is vital to pull off the road when feeling fatigued.
Cherry Hill Truck Accident Lawyers Advocate for Those Injured in Accidents Caused by Negligence
Sleep apnea is a serious health condition and should not be taken lightly. If you have been harmed in a trucking accident due to driver negligence, contact the Cherry Hill truck accident lawyers at DiTomaso Law today. Contact us online or call us at 856-414-0010. We are in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and we proudly serve clients in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey.