When there is a big problem, it is natural for a community to try to point the finger at one main source of the issue. That way, it can feel as though a solution to the threat is not so hard to implement.
But often, there are various sources of a specific societal danger, including trucking accidents. A source who works in regulating Illinois’ transportation industry points at regulators’ sleep apnea focus as “putting a Band-Aid on a bleeding artery.”
Fatigued driving accidents within the rail and trucking industry are a clear safety threat. When a commercial truck is involved in an accident, the devastation can be significant. Victims within a passenger vehicle have little chance of getting away from a truck crash alive or unscathed.
In recent years, the discussion about driver fatigue has largely focused on sleep apnea. Those who suffer from the sleeping disorder stop breathing at times during sleep. The overall effect of the condition is poor sleep quality. Therefore, knowing that more than one-quarter of commercial truckers have sleep apnea, it is understandable why as a society we want to address this specific medical concern.
Some from the trucking industry, however, complain that regulations regarding sleep apnea aren’t a fix-all. For example, one trucker with the condition says that her now-required use of a CPAP machine has resulted in worse sleep for her.
The current law is that commercial drivers diagnosed with sleep apnea must treat the condition in order to keep their professional licenses. A CPAP machine is the common form of treatment, though it sounds as though researchers need to come up with a more thorough plan in order to address drivers on a more individual basis if they want to reduce drowsy driving.
A session to discuss sleep apnea within the transportation industry recently took place in Chicago. The challenge is creating rules that can not only be applied across the board, but that will ultimately reduce the rate of driver fatigue. Cases of sleep apnea are not all the same and, therefore, might need different treatments in order to result in a more fit driver from case to case.
Many questions remain with regard to reducing driver fatigue and truck accidents tied to that problem. Members of the industry stress, too, that scheduling issues — not just sleep apnea — are a prime source of tired drivers.
If you or someone you love has been harmed because of a drowsy driver, however, there is no question that you should work with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Controversial, fluctuating regulations are no excuse for you to become a victim of an unfit driver.