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Sleep apnea makes drivers drowsy and fatigued

Sleep apnea can cause problems when we’re awake. The inability to sleep soundly without interruption can make you drowsy and fatigued. Someone with sleep apnea may find their cognitive functioning during the day to be diminished.

Professional drivers have to be alert. At highway speeds, a truck will travel over 100 feet every second. A few moments of inattention can be catastrophic.

Many truck drivers have sleep apnea

More than one out of four truck drivers suffers from sleep apnea, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Most of these cases are mild.

Source: Pack A.I., Dinges D.F, & Maislin G. (2002). A study of prevalence of sleep apnea among commercial truck drivers (Report No. DOT-RT-02-030). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Transportation, FMCSA, linked at https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/driver-safety/sleep-apnea/driving-when-you-have-sleep-apnea.