There are a lot of laws and regulations in place aimed at ensuring trucking safety, and for good reason. These massive rigs can leave devastation in their wake when they’re involved in an accident, and unsuspecting motorists are often left to pay the price.
Yet, the regulations that are in place aren’t always as strict as people may think. This is especially true when it comes to dealing with truckers’ medical conditions. Although a trucker can’t operate a rig if he or she has a medical condition that renders him or her unable to safely to so, the fact of the matter is that there are really no checks on the system. Instead, much of the system relies on self-reporting or doctor recommendations without much follow up.
Perhaps one of the most dangerous medical conditions that can affect a trucker is sleep apnea. Those who suffer from it experience breathing disruptions during sleep, which can cause them to wake up as many as 400 times per night. It’s no surprise, then, that sleep apnea sufferers are often extremely tired and fatigued, which is bad news when it comes to driving. This fatigue can significantly decrease awareness and slow reaction times.
There is effective treatment out there for sleep apnea and other medical conditions that may render a trucker unsafe to drive. But the sad reality is that truckers and their employers oftentimes skirt regulations to save time and money. If that has happened and resulted in you being injured, then you need to carefully consider how you can fight to hold a negligent trucker and his or her employer accountable. This may include gathering medical records, taking depositions, and even having an expert witness testify on your behalf. That may sound daunting, but skilled legal professionals like those at our firm stand ready to help.