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Sleep Apnea and Commercial Drivers


Drivers with obstructive sleep apnea have a 7-fold increased risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash. Source


Drowsy driving is a factor in more than 100,000 crashes, resulting in 1,550 deaths and 40,000 injuries annually. Source


Between 16% and 60% of all accidents have sleep deprivation as a cause. Source


It is estimated the 2.4-3.9 million licensed commercial drivers in the US have OSA. Source


Almost one-third* (28%) of commercial truck drivers have some degree of sleep apnea.

  • 17.6% - mild sleep apnea
  • 5.8% - moderate sleep apnea**
  • 4.7% - severe sleep apnea**


The Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee and Medical Review Board recently proposed that obstructive sleep apnea should be screened among obese commercial truck drivers (BMI 35 or 6 feet, 258 lbs). If the proposal is adopted this year, untreated drivers would be immediately disqualified or have to get a 60-day conditional card during evaluation and treatment for the condition. Source



* Study conducted in 2002 in Pennsylvania. Actual number may be higher given growth of obesity.

** Disqualified from having a commercial driver's license (CDL)