Can a Sleeping Disorder Lead to Truck Accidents?

Everyone knows that you should never drink alcohol and then operate a motor vehicle because it impairs your judgment, makes things blurry, and can disrupt the motor skills necessary to make turns or even simply stay in the center of a lane. However, being sleepy can impair your ability to drive just as much as being tipsy, but there is much less public discourse about it. Because truck drivers are on the road much longer than the average person, they are more at risk of being sleepy at the wheel, and the results of this can be disastrous.

According to an article in the StarTribune, researchers at The University of Minnesota campus at Morris found that more than a quarter of all truck drivers suffer from sleep apnea, which prevents them from breathing properly while they sleep. Sleep apnea has been shown to lead to increased fatigue and feeling tired during waking hours. In addition, they also found that truckers who had diagnosed sleep apnea but refused to get it treated had, on average, 70 preventable serious crashes a year (100,000 miles driven), compared to only 14 serious crashes a year by truckers who either did not have sleep apnea or had sleep apnea but followed a treatment plan. The treatment plan given to this control group was an electronically monitored device worn while sleeping that regulates breathing. Another study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania has shown that 28% of truck drivers have some form of sleep apnea. And commercial truck drivers seem to be particularly at risk for sleep-related accidents; from 2004 to 2013 sleepy truck drivers were responsible for 8,900 traffic deaths according to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation. This does not even take into account how many other crashes must have happened in that nine year period.

This article was from March 2016, but that does not make it any less worrying. It is incredibly important that truck drivers be getting enough sleep, so there should be government mandates that require commercial trucking companies to at least screen for sleep apnea and require their drivers to get treatment, but I believe they should go a step further and provide for the treatment themselves to ensure their truckers are getting the help they need. Surely a small breathing device will be a beneficial investment if it prevents the loss of potentially millions of dollars worth of cargo and property damage.

Driving while tired is a huge cause for the vast number of traffic deaths that occur every year in the United States. Whether you have been affected by someone who caused an accident due to being sleepy, or if you’re a truck driver who caused an accident, lawyers like Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. suggest seeking out an attorney specifically trained for semi-truck accidents who will help you learn about your rights. Trucking companies should always provide plenty of resources to their drivers so that they feel rested every time they drive.

Child Custody and Divorce

When you are going through a divorce, the process can be much more challenging there are children involved. There are child custody issues that are going to be in the middle of the divorce process. Parents always want the best for their children, so making sure that the best interests of the child are considered in a divorce proceeding can be a challenging task. Additionally, there are numerous types of child custody, so understanding the difference between sole custody, joint custody, legal custody and physical custody can be quite helpful. According to Kessler & Solomiany, LLC, becoming knowledgeable in these types of custody can make the difference when you are a parent that is facing some child custody issue.
When sole custody is awarded, one parent can have either sole legal custody or sole physical custody of a child. In some cases, sole custody is awarded to a parent if the other parent is declared unfit, possibly because of alcohol abuse, drug dependency or charges of child abuse or neglect. Yet, even if one parent gets sole custody, the other parent can play a role in their child’s life. In some cases, sole custody is awarded to one parent, but the two parents still share joint legal custody. In this case, the noncustodial parent gets a visitation schedule to see the child on a regular basis. The parents would both make joint decisions about the child’s upbringing, but one parent would be the primary physical caretaker, and the other parent would have the visitation rights. In the best interests of the child, sole custody is not recommended unless the other parent can cause direct harm to the child.
Joint custody, sometimes called shared custody, is usually when parents don’t live together, but they share the decision-making responsibilities and custody of the child. This joint custody can occur if the parents are no longer living together, if they have never lived together, are separated or are divorced. Joint custody can be characterized as either joint legal custody, joint physical custody, or joint legal and physical custody. However, there are some disadvantages of joint custody, as the child goes back and forth from each household and any lack of cooperation from the parents tends to have detrimental effects on the child.
Legal custody of the child allows the parent to have the right and obligation to make important decisions about the child’s upbringing and future. For instance, this parent would make decisions about where the child goes to school, the child’s medical care, and sometimes religious upbringing. When joint legal custody is issued, these decisions are shared by both parents. In custody decisions, providing for the best interests of the child is crucial, and courts frequently weigh in on the parents’ ability to provide an overall stable environment for the child.
When the child is granted the right to live with a certain parent, that is considered physical custody. When joint physical custody is awarded, the child spends a significant amount of time with both parents. This custody works best if both parents live close to one another so that the child is not stressed traveling and gets to maintain a daily structured routine.