Detecting and Treating Sleep Apnea a Top Priority for NTSB
The National Transportation Safety Board has just issued its Most Wanted List. Their list of transportation safety improvements for 2015 — to strengthen commercial trucking safety. This invloves detecting and treating sleep apnea among truckers.
Safety is Key
According to the NTSB, trucking companies’ safety compliance is a top priority, this includes drivers and vehicles. New carriers have to be monitored to assure that they address any safety deficiencies quickly, and will be put out of service if they fail to improve. It was also determined that regulators need a better system to ensure that bad operators do not return to the industry under another name.
Will Drivers Have to be Tested for Sleep Apnea?
It is especially important to note that regulators are now in the process of creating rules that mandate electronic logging devices that can determine if drivers are rested. The NTSB is also working on requirements to screen drivers for obstructive sleep apnea, medical conditions that could impair driving, and impairing drugs.
Can I Still Drive with Sleep Apnea?
Under the heading of Greater Medical Requirements, the NTSB says “truck operators should be subject to more and stricter medical requirements, including procedures to identify risk of sleep disorders.” Patients who are not being treated for sleep apnea, which could also mean not using their prescribed CPAP machine, could be be prevented from operating their commercial vehicles. Drivers who are being treated and comply with treatment can still drive.
Commercial truckers should also make it a top priority to consult a doctor if they are at risk for sleep apnea. A doctor may order a home sleep test, which you can order directly from CPAPAmerica.com.
National Transportation Safety Board. (2015). NTSB 2015 Most Wanted Transportation Safety Improvements: Strengthen Commercial Trucking Safety [Government Report]. Retrieved from http://www.ntsb.gov/safety/mwl/Documents/MWL_2015_Factsheet_09.pdf