MySleepApnea.Org

No-Doze, No More, for Truckers!

Posted on: July 18, 2008

 

DOT (Department of Transportation) proposal requires testing

The U.S. Department of Transportation has proposed new regulations that would require truck drivers at risk for sleep apnea to get tested and treated in order to obtain their licenses.

The move is aimed at reducing the number of truck crashes caused by driver fatigue, said Rex Patty, a nurse practitioner at WorkCare, a regional healthcare in Topka, Kan.  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates that approximately 141,000 large truck crashes that occurred during a 33-month study perios  18,000 or 13% were related to drivre fatigue.

Not all driver fatigue is the result of sleep apnea, but about 28% of truckers amy be at risk, compared to around 10% in the general population, said Patty.

Drivers with certain risk factors for OSA would be evaluated by a DOT provider and, if necessary, referred to their private physician for a sleep study.

It is estimated that 45% to 50% of (at risk) drivers will need additional evalation, and 70% of that outcome would need treatment known as the CPAP therapy; or Continouse Positive Airway Pressure.

Drivers diagnosed with OSA would need at least one week of treatment before they could get back behind the wheel. They would need to meet a minimym compliance of four hours or more each night 70% of the time, with periodic re-evaluations to maintain their license.

Trucking companies and independent drivers aren’t embracing the proposed rules. The most talked about is cost. On average, and depending on the severity of a persons OSA, CPAP machines and specific testings could cost up to $1,000.

  Cost concerns go well beyond intitial diagnosis and treatment.

DOT made is very clear that ‘If they are not compliant, they are disqualified to drive.’  Trucking companies can have a driver they depend on that can’t drive, and at this point, nobody knows how they get re-qualified. They are still under determination for what that may mean.

  It could be six months to a year before the proposal is finalized.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

MSA-logo
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: