Drivers and Fleet Operators
Commercial drivers and fleet operators today are highly regulated by a multitude of government agencies. These regulations are put in place to help protect the drivers and the general public. Sleep Apnea Treatment Centers of America Transportation Safety Program helps address the most recent Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations for commercial drivers with diagnosed sleep apnea.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conservatively estimates that 100,000 accidents are caused by drowsy drivers each year, resulting in more than 1,500 fatalities, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in diminished productivity and property loss. Drivers with sleep apnea have a six time greater risk factor for automobile accidents.
The information below is meant to help provide you with a broader understanding of FMCSA Regulations:
What are the obligations of a fleet operator regarding employees with sleep apnea?
A fleet operator may not allow or permit a commercial vehicle driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle if the driver has a medical condition (including sleep apnea) that would affect his or her ability to safely operate the commercial motor vehicle.
Being effectively treated, and complying with that treatment, offers the best hope of a commercial driver with sleep apnea to secure the ability to do his or her job safely and be fully alert. However, It is imperative that drivers with sleep apnea fully explore the treatment options available to not only treat, but cure their sleep apnea.
Can a driver still drive if they have been diagnosed with sleep apnea?
Yes, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations do not clearly address sleep apnea. The FMCSA Regulations state that, “a person with a medical history or clinical diagnosis of any condition likely to interfere with their ability to drive safely cannot be medically qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce”. The driver can still be eligible if they have medical proof that their sleep apnea is being treated or cured. Sleep Apnea Treatment Centers of America has successfully CURED (no longer classified as having sleep apnea) thousands of patients with their minimally invasive, in-office sleep apnea procedure proven to CURE 72% of mild sleep apnea sufferers, 53% of moderate sleep apnea sufferers, and over 37% of severe sleep apnea sufferers.
What level of sleep apnea (mild, moderate, or severe) disqualifies a commercial motor vehicle driver?
The disqualifying level of sleep apnea is moderate to severe, which interferes with safe driving. Once a driver is diagnosed with moderate to severe sleep apnea they must be medically cleared before returning back to work.