The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Medical Review Board is recommending that commercial driver’s license holders with a body mass index of 30 or greater undergo sleep apnea testing. Sleep apnea is a disorder that interrupts your breathing cycle during sleep. Untreated, this can cause those that suffer from the disorder to stop breathing a number of times throughout the night – causing sleeplessness.
The concern is that that fatigue and sleeplessness from sleep apnea makes trucking even more dangerous. Trucks can weigh several tons when fully loaded and are very hard to stop in emergency situations.
People become more susceptible to sleep apnea when they have certain physical features, such as excessive weight. Having a BMI of 30 or higher puts individuals at risk for developing sleep apnea.
It is unclear what the FMCSA plans to do with the results of the testing. Will the agency prevent those who are prone to sleep apnea from driving? Would they require treatment for the disorder?