Fleet driver safety is becoming more strict due to the rising concern of the dangers associated with undiagnosed sleep apnea. Truck drivers must receive a DOT physical to maintain their CDL certification. If the DOT physician believes the driver fits the criteria of a person at risk for sleep apnea, they may require the driver to have a sleep study.
Indicators & Screening
The Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee and the Medical Review Board suggest that medical examiners should screen any driver with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 or greater. The reason they chose strict screening related to BMI percentage is because research has shown that BMI, which is a measure of the body fat based on the height and weight, is the biggest indicator that a person has sleep apnea.
The DOT guideline for sleep apnea states that “a person is physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) if that person has no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of a respiratory dysfunction likely to interfere with his/her ability to control and drive a commercial motor vehicle safely. If the medical examiner detects a respiratory dysfunction, that in any way is likely to interfere with the driver’s ability to safely control and drive a commercial motor vehicle, the driver must be referred to a specialist for further evaluation and therapy.”
Fleet Driver Safety Programs
Many companies in the transportation industry are leaning towards a fleet driver safety program by implementing a sleep disorder program or an overall wellness program. Including a sleep disorder program for fleet driver safety is something that can benefit the driver as well as the company. It is important for these programs to be proactive and not reactive when it comes to driver safety, and that is what the FMCSA and DOT physicians are striving for.
With the help of FMCSA, we will have a safe workforce in the trucking industry.