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Can sleep apnea testing stop Wisconsin truck accidents?

Truck accidents are horrifying experiences even for the best Michigan personal injury law firms, but unfortunately common events throughout Wisconsin. Although there are many things that can cause a truck accident, driver fatigue is a common contributing factor. Truckers work long hours and sometimes forge timesheets in order to move their cargo further without having to take the legally required rest breaks.

There are also truckers who are unable to get restful sleep because of a condition called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is more common in obese individuals and consists of shallow breaths or breathing stoppages which disrupt the normal sleep cycle. Individuals with sleep apnea are unable to obtain the deep restorative sleep needed to properly control a vehicle and are more likely to be involved in a car accident.

One woman who lost her husband in a truck accident says that sleep apnea testing should be required for truck drivers so that other people do not have to go through the pain and loss that she suffered.

“If you could have seen the scene that killed my husband or any of the other scenes that have been tied to sleep apnea and truck wrecks, it does look like a war zone,” the widow said at a public meeting of the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee and the Medical Review Board.

“How many more families have to be torn apart before we do something?” she asked.

The boards recently recommended mandatory sleep apnea testing for obese truckers and mandatory testing for truckers involved in fatigued driving crashes. Some trucking industry insiders are fighting the recommendations and it is unclear whether they will be adopted.

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