We have all heard about the opioid crisis in America. It has reached such an epidemic state that both Federal and State agencies have pushed forward laws and regulations in and attempt to positively impact this epidemic. This is true in the trucking industry also. As the crisis has mushroomed into a national epidemic the number of truck and bus drivers testing positive has sky-rocked also. Recent federal data shows that positive drug tests for those working in safety sensitive positions within the department of transportation, including truck and bus drivers, has jumped by 77% since 2006.
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.
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is not enough information available to support moving forward with a rulemaking action and so the rulemaking will be withdrawn…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.
What is different for truckers is that they are exposed to added stressors in life and are often driving alone, which make dealing with depression even more difficult. To add to the stress of trying to cope with one’s depression, a driver who suffers even a mild form of depression can have a delay in the medical certification. Therefore, staying on top of your depression and understanding how to manage it is essential in keeping you healthy and on the road! Remember – when you are not on the road, you are not making a living.
All individuals suffer from sleep apnea, women too! A study completed in 2013 at UCLA indicated that women are less likely however to be diagnosed with sleep apnea. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they suffer any less, or have different risk factors or consequences for suffering from it. It seems that women actually exhibit different symptoms
For years the FMCSA had indicated that once the driver has a diagnosis of high blood pressure, whether they are treated or not, the maximum that a driver can be allowed on the Med Cert. card would be one year. In recent years this has been changed a bit to benefit the driver who does all the right things.