With CPAP being the most common treatment prescribed for drivers, finding ways to improve compliance is not only important for their continued ability to drive a CMV, but is also essential for their health. Sleep Apnea, if left untreated it can cause not only symptoms such as daytime sleepiness and mental lethargy but it can lead to many additional health problems. Those who do not successfully manage their sleep apnea will increase their chance to develop or experience a number of medical conditions including…
With the shortage of drivers becoming critical within the trucking industry, motor carriers have increasingly looked to new sources of candidates to fill their fleets. One area that has increasingly become more popular is to look at veterans in their search to fill truck driver vacancies and to move freight. The facts are that Veteran CDL drivers typically have a significant advantage over the general population in filling this need. For example, a military veteran is going to meet the minimum age requirement when they leave the military to drive a truck. Additionally, much of the training that was developed in the military can help the driver succeed as a driver.
Truck drivers have a stressful, challenging job and suffer from many health problems more often than the general population. This makes the link between smoking and truck drivers especially problematic, so helping them to quit should form part of a comprehensive strategy to help improve their health overall.
Truck driver health has always been an issue given the nature of the job. Despite the fact that truck drivers suffer many similar conditions common in the general population (heart disease and diabetes for example), they suffer these conditions more frequently and with greater severity. The question one might ask is why? Many possible causes can be identified from dietary concerns, stress, the physical demands of driving a truck and more. One common issue that leads to a higher incidence of chronic medical problems, common to all types of professional drivers is prolonged sitting.
Trying to figure out what medications will affect a driver’s ability to pass their DOT physical examination can be a confusing and stressful task for a driver or motor carrier. The first thought that comes to mind is that there is some sort of “magic bullet” that will provide a quick and easy answer to this question. Unfortunately this is not the case. There is more to it than simply being able to look up a medication and then having an answer. It involves not only a regulation or guidance provided by the FMCSA (of which there is very little in a way to help guide us through this issue), but also the treating provider and the decision making process employed by the medical examiner.
The proposed action from FMCSA is to retract the 2016 Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) for Sleep Apnea. The FMCSA comment to OMB was that “Upon review of all public comments to the ANPRM, FMCSA has determined there is not enough information available to support moving forward with a rulemaking action and so the rulemaking will be withdrawn…
This procedure falls into a category of heart condition called “Ischemic Heart Disease”. This means that there is a lack or reduced blood supply to the heart. This will lead to symptoms of chest pain which typically be following exertion or exercise. This symptom is referred to as angina. Angina can typically be treated with medication, dietary change and exercise and does not always need a stent. If the symptoms become more severe, and/or include chest pain at rest, is called unstable angina.
Not getting enough sleep can lead to higher risk of many chronic health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. According to Harvard Medical School, people with hypertension, one night without enough sleep can cause elevated blood pressure (an issue for truck drivers) throughout the next day.
A recent report released in April by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) indicates that despite the good intentions of the FMCSA in implementing the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME), its impact on the trucking industry has apparently been more negative than positive, without accomplishing the desired results that were expected from additional training and certification for medical examiners.