Sleep Apnea/Obesity and Trucker Safety

Trucking Accident Lawyers in Mississippi

In a recent landmark ruling in U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, the court held that a long-haul truck driver working out of North Dakota did not have his rights infringed upon when he was denied work after refusing to be tested for sleep apnea.  (Parker v. Crete Carrier Corp., 2016 BL 339384, 8th Cir., No. 16-1371, 10/12/16)

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Sufferers of sleep apnea may not get enough oxygen in their sleep, and often report feeling extreme exhaustion during their waking hours.  Hundreds of thousand of people are diagnosed with sleep apnea every year, making it one of the most prominent sleeping disorders in the United States.

For truck drivers, sleep apnea presents clear risks.  They are often asked to work long hours on the road, and spend their nights in trucks where equipment designed to help sufferers of sleep apnea may be difficult to set up and use.  Nobody wants to share the road with a driver of any vehicle who may be sleep deprived, causing them to be inattentive and a danger to others.

Some trucking companies already have rules instituted that mandate testing based on their drivers’ body mass index.  Body mass index, or BMI, is a comprehensive measure of one’s weight and how it relates to their health.  A higher BMI means a higher chance of developing and suffering from long term sleep apnea.

The new ruling not only applies to long-haul truckers, but also drivers of garbage trucks, school buses, and delivery trucks if the vehicle’s weight exceeds the DOT’s threshold.

At Giddens Law Firm, P.A., we are up-to-date on all of the newest rulings and laws regarding the trucking industry.  This means that when you hire us to represent you in a case involving a commercial vehicle, we are able to attack your case from all angles and find when and where the defendants were negligent. This helps us to maximize the value of your case, and make sure that you get the compensation that you deserve.  Please contact our firm today if you or someone you know have been involved in an accident and we will begin fighting for you immediately.

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