The Impact of Sleep Apnea on Truckers Driving for Transportation Companies

As a truck driver working in specialized hauling services, you have a lot of responsibility. You have a responsibility to get your cargo to its destination but, for safety’s sake, you are also responsible for keeping control over your rig, which can be difficult when you’re tired or fatigued. Although a doctor may identify a sleep disorder during a routine medical exam, reports suggest that a growing number of truck drivers show signs of sleep apnea, which has led to the potential for new protocols.

Let’s take a look at a few things—the impact of sleep apnea on truckers in the freight transport management industry, the risk factors that may make this condition more likely and lifestyle changes you can adopt to reduce your risk.

Screening, risk factors and proposed guidelines

Should a truck driver meet certain requirements for sleep apnea, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration committee recommends they adhere to further testing, under proposed guidelines. According to surveys and the FMCSA, the incidence of sleep apnea in truck drivers is higher than in the general population—20 to 28 percent as opposed to an average of 2 percent of women and 4 percent of men.

Based on a number of risk factors, it’s being recommended that the FMCSA require certain truck drivers get screened for possible sleep apnea. This includes:

  • Truckers with a BMI of 40 or higher, as well as those with a BMI between 33 and 40 who meet other conditions.
  • Truckers who have a larger neck circumference, which is considered 17 inches for men and 15.5 inches for women.
  • Truck drivers who are men or post-menopausal women.
  • Those who are 40 years or older, with the average screening age being at least 42.
  • Truck drivers who smoke.
  • Drivers with Type 2 diabetes or a history of heart problems or strokes.

These are just some of the risk factors of sleep apnea that apply to a large demographic among truckers. Always seek the advice of a trained medical professional, and understand that this screening is not only important to ensure you’re able to perform your best at work—it will also benefit your health and wellbeing.

To overcome your sleep apnea issues, consider making changes to your lifestyle. You can be happier and healthier!

  • Lose weight: Losing weight can reduce issues associated with sleep apnea. If you are in the obese category, make a plan to drop some pounds through a better diet and daily exercise, which also helps with joint and muscle problems.
  • Quit smoking: If you’re a smoker, you are three times more likely than a non-smoker to be diagnosed with sleep apnea. Give up smoking to avoid upper airway inflammation and fluid retention.
  • Get plenty of sleep: A sleep schedule is hard when you’re on the road needing to meet delivery deadlines. Try your best to keep a sleep routine, and nap when you can.

If you’ve been checking out a lot of transportation companies in Aurora, CO to help you with your oversized trucking, look no further than the professional truckers at Osage Specialized Transport. Contact us today.