In this case, a tractor-trailer driver with a history of sleep apnea fell asleep behind the wheel of an 80,000-pound tractor-trailer unit. Consequently, the tractor-trailer slammed into a line of vehicles stopped in traffic. We learned that the trucking company did not have a safety policy in place to screen its drivers for sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea in the commercial vehicle industry
Sleep apnea is a dangerous disease which leads to poor quality night-time sleep. In turn, poor quality night-time sleep leads to fatigue. And, fatigue leads to the potential of falling asleep at the wheel, in this case, an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer. It has been estimated that 17-28% of truck drivers suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Therefore, the risk of crashes by commercial drivers with untreated sleep apnea is well-known and well-documented in the commercial vehicle industry.
Trucking safety regulations
Trucking companies have their own specific regulations and must follow the trucking safety rules of the road. These mandate that company drivers are properly trained and qualified to drive these big rigs. In addition, they must also be supervised. Qualification and supervision means that companies ensure their drivers are medically qualified and capable of safely driving tractor-trailers.
Settlement for catastrophic brain and spinal cord injuries
In this crash, our client suffered catastrophic brain and spinal cord injuries through no fault of his own. The defendant trucking company allowed this driver, who had a history of untreated sleep apnea, to continue to drive company tractor-trailers. Therefore, it was only a matter of time before the driver fell asleep at the wheel, which he did, resulting in the crash with our client. Jaime Jackson Law was able to help obtain a settlement for our client that will give him the best possible chance to live the best life possible.
If you or a loved one has been catastrophically injured in a tractor-trailer crash, contact Jaime Jackson Law.