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Medical treatment could reduce drowsy truck driving for some

When drivers have fewer medical conditions and risks for distractions or drowsiness behind the wheel, the roads are safer for everyone. Should drivers be allowed behind the wheel if they're predisposed to being drowsy or not getting enough sleep? For victims, the answer is no, because it leaves them in a position where they have to seek compensation for serious injuries or even for the death of loved ones.

A sleep disorder report published by Fox News on Sept. 29 states that commercial truck drivers who get treated for obstructive sleep apnea may reduce their crash risk if they're treated for at least two years. Receiving this treatment can reduce their risk of a crash down to as low as those who don't have sleep apnea.

The study authors wrote in the journal Sleep Medicine that professional drivers should have to be screened for treatment and for the management of sleep disorders. This would reduce the risk of accidents and improve overall road safety in theory.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that disrupts a person's quantity and quality of sleep. It can cause impaired attention and fatigue, poor reaction time and impaired driving performance. It can raise the risk of daytime sleepiness and traffic accidents as well.

When someone suffers OSA, the sleeper's airway actually collapses and forces breathing to stop, choking the individual. This can result in gasping or choking when the sleeper wakes him or herself to open the airway. This can happen multiple times a night and may not be remembered by the person.

Source: FoxNews, "Treatment could lower crash risk for truckers with sleep apnea," Sep. 29, 2016

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