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Bills regarding sleep apnea rule for truckers

Commercial truckers in South Carolina may be interested to know that Congressional Democrats have proposed bills intended to compel the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to continue its work on a rule regarding guidelines for screenings and treatments for obstructive sleep apnea. Democrats in both the House and Senate want trucking regulators to establish a rule that provides the exact criteria medical examiners should use to make apnea testing referrals for truck drivers.

The agency worked on the creation of the rule in 2016. In addition to entertaining recommendations from its Medical Advisory Board, the agency also sought options from stakeholders in the trucking industry by holding public meetings and issuing a pre-rule announcement.

With a sleep apnea rule in place, medical examiners, truck drivers and carrier employers would have clear instructions about which criteria would justify referrals for in-lab apnea tests for truckers. They would also have transparent guidelines for proper treatment procedures.

Medical examiners have to use multiple different sets of screening procedures to decide if a trucker should be referred for a sleep apnea test. This has resulted in confusion within the trucking industry. Some truck drivers have claimed that unnecessary referrals have been made, and manufacturers of treatment devices, doctors and apnea testing companies are viewed with suspicion and the belief that they are taking advantage of the current confusion regarding the rules.

Truck accidents can cause someone to sustain serious injuries. Head-on collisions, hit-and-runs and rear-end and T-bone accidents can result in spinal injuries, crush injuries, permanent disability and even death.

A personal injury attorney may be able to help individuals who were injured in truck accidents to obtain the financial compensation to which they may be legally entitled. Lawsuits may be filed against the negligent parties responsible for defective auto parts, inadequate truck maintenance or unqualified drivers.

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