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How does sleep apnea affect driving abilities?

On Behalf of | May 11, 2018 | blog

A person’s ability to drive may be adversely impacted by a number of factors, from alcohol consumption to stress and distractions in the car, such as talking with passengers. However, drowsy driving is particularly concerning, and many people get behind the wheel even though they are too sleep deprived to drive safely. For some people, such as those who have sleep apnea, this can be especially problematic. Regrettably, some people with sleep apnea do not realize how dangerous this condition can be.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, sleep apnea can adversely affect a person’s driving abilities in multiple ways, potentially leading to a motor vehicle collision. Since sleep apnea interferes with a person’s ability to sleep well, it also affects them during the day. For drivers, this can have a negative impact on alertness and reaction time. Moreover, the FMCSA points out that studies draw a connection between sleep apnea that is left untreated and a higher risk of being involved in a traffic collision.

With a clear link between sleep apnea and a decrease in driving performance, it is essential for those who have sleep apnea to seek treatment. Once taken care of, their driving abilities will no longer be affected by this condition. Unfortunately, some people choose not to treat their sleep apnea, making the roads more dangerous for themselves and everyone else. For those who have been hit by a driver who caused a crash due to fatigue or any other factor, it is essential to hold reckless drivers accountable.