The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (a part of the United States Department of Transportation) is cracking down on sleep deprived driving. Those with a CDL license will see a new addition to their physical this year. Drivers at risk for Sleep Apnea or other sleep disorder are urged to undergo further evaluation with a sleep specialist and perhaps have a sleep study in order to keep driving.
Though some drivers are not too happy to have the Department of Transportation checking their sleep patterns, the purpose of this invasion is to further ensure the safety of all drivers on the road including those being tested. Sleep Apnea is a disorder that could go unnoticed for years and without proper diagnosis and treatment can lead to oxygen deprivation for vital organs including the brain, slowing reaction times and leaving a person tired and groggy.
Those at risk include persons that suffer from snoring, are overweight or those that have a large neck size (over 17”). The great news is that sleep disorders are usually treatable and easily detected through a sleep test (polysomnography). While there are no federal regulations regarding this issue (only recommendations), the State Department of Transportation is free to make their own rules.
I have to say that as a frequent driver, I am very excited about this.Alisa Flom Patient Relations Coordinator