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When we talk about drowsy driving and trucking accidents, should we be thinking about issues beyond the sheer number of hours spent on America's highways? According to a recent article in the Huffington Post, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may play a role in truck accidents in DuPage County and across the country. To be sure, a recent study from Harvard University's School of Public Health determined that truck drivers who suffer from sleep apnea and do not adhere to proper treatment regimens may be more likely than truckers without the ailment to be involved in dangerous truck collisions.

Monitoring and Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea in the Trucking Industry

The recent study, which brought together researchers from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, the University of Minnesota-Morris, and the Brigham and Women's Hospital, explored the "results of the first large-scale employer program to screen, diagnose, and monitor OSA treatment adherence in the U.S. trucking industry." The research was published late last month in the journal Sleep. In short, the researchers wanted to determine how well the trucking industry has monitored truckers' screening for sleep apnea and the rate at which those truckers adhere to treatment plans.

What did the study determine? According to Stefanos Kales, the senior author of the study and the Chief of Occupational Medicine at Cambridge Health Alliance, the U.S. trucking industry needs to regularly screen commercial truck drivers for OSA. And when it turns out that truckers have sleep apnea, employers need to monitor their drivers to ensure that they are abiding by treatment plans. As Kales explained, "mandating screening, diagnosis, and treatment would reduce large truck and bus accidents, and therefore deaths and injuries among the motoring public."


What can we do to better prevent trucking accidents? One significant aspect of trucking safety is truck driver training. The U.S. Department of Transportation requires truckers to complete safety training, and the National Safety Council (NSC) emphasizes that these training sessions—and improving them—can help to keep truck drivers as well as other automobile passengers safe on the highway. Proper truck driver training, according to the NSC website, helps drivers to learn more about "avoiding collisions, injuries, and violations."

In large part, professional truck driver training teaches truckers about defensive driving and to remain alert on the highways at all times. To better understand how professional truck driver training can help to keep our roads safer, we should take a more in-depth look at the NSC's guidelines for defensive driving techniques. In the meantime, if you or a loved one suffered a serious or fatal injury in a trucking accident, you deserve to seek compensation and should contact an experienced Naperville trucking accident attorney as soon as possible.

Safer Highways with Defensive Driving Techniques

According to a fact sheet from the NSC, providing defensive driving techniques, in addition to other important aspects of 18-wheeler driving, can help truckers to avoid deadly accidents. The NSC emphasizes that defensive driving training can help to do the following:

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