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Private Trucking Fleet Safety

Starting a sleep program in a private fleet may put your company far ahead of other companies in the transportation industry with regards to the to the FMSCA guidelines about sleep apnea. Implementing an OSA program can help fleet companies and the public combat the number of accidents that were caused by fatigue associated with a sleep apnea. A key driving factor of an OSA program is the reduced healthcare costs and may help in driver recruitment and retention. Up to 28% of commercial drivers have some level of sleep apnea. The largest contributing factor of sleep apnea is having a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or greater. DOT examiners are looking for the following risk indicators as well: High Blood Pressure, Neck Size – 17 inches (male), Neck Size – 16 inches (female), and Tobacco and Alcohol Use

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) continues to review the following guideline – The medical examiner may, but is not required to, accept the recommendations. Section 390.3(d) of the FMCSRs allows employers to have more stringent medical requirements.
Respiratory Dysfunction 391.41(b)(5)

A person is physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle if that person:
Has no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of a respiratory dysfunction likely to interfere with the ability to control and drive a commercial motor vehicle safely.

Since a driver must be alert at all times, any change in his or her mental state is in direct conflict with highway safety. Even the slightest impairment in respiratory function under emergency conditions (when greater oxygen supply is necessary for performance) may be detrimental to safe driving.

There are many conditions that interfere with oxygen exchange and may result in incapacitation, including emphysema, chronic asthma, carcinoma, tuberculosis, chronic bronchitis and sleep apnea. If the medical examiner detects a respiratory dysfunction, that in any way is likely to interfere with the driver’s ability to safely control and drive a commercial motor vehicle, the driver must be referred to a specialist for further evaluation and therapy.

Lawyers are using this type of information against truck drivers who have an untreated sleep disorder and are involved accidents that have resulted in a fatality. It’s documented that there have been lawsuits that resulted with multi-million dollar settlements against the trucking companies that employed the truck driver with the untreated sleep disorder. Implementing an OSA program can reduce your exposure to litigation and improve your existing fleet safety program. AllTrans Fleet Services offers state-of-the-art remote testing and treatment technology to the transportation industry with the convenience of full program implementation and support, DOT compliance reporting with little if any down time.

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