Trump Administration Halts Efforts To Curb Truckers’ Sleep-Inducing Condition


Democrats Question Sleep Apnea Change | Go By Truck Global News Democrats are questioning the Trump administration over its decision to abandon a plan requiring all truck, train and bus operators be screened for sleep … Democrats Question Sleep Apnea Change | Go By Truck Global News – Go By Truck News

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How asleep should a truck driver be at his job?

A majority of people say, “Not asleep at all. And why are you even asking that question? Over the past few years, this has been an issue of health policy, but it has gradually changed into a question concerning the government’s role. A string of some high-profile incidences that involves railroad engineers and somnolent truck drivers have raised concerns about an emerging sleep disorder.

For instance, a conductor crashed a train into a crowded train station in Hoboken, New Jersey, resulting in more than a hundred passengers being injured. The individual was later diagnosed with sleep apnea, a condition that affects your alertness and causes one to fall asleep even when performing the most stimulating tasks spontaneously.

1 dead, 108 hurt in Hoboken crash: NJ Gov. Christie from CNBC.

In March 2016, the Obama administration proposed that this type of incident be prevented whenever possible, with one of the proactive approaches taken being the requirement that all truck drivers and train engineers undergo screening for sleep apnea.

What was expected to prevent train accidents and truck accidents turned out to be a politically divisive idea.

On August 4, 2017, the Donald Trump administration announced its move to withdraw the proposed requirement, as part of a major effort to eliminate all regulations that could ostensibly hinder the country’s economic growth.

This announcement, however, didn’t go unchallenged as it was met with consternation from health-advocacy and consumer organizations. In fact, the spokesperson for the National Transportation Safety Board an organization that has always advocated for screening truck drivers for sleep apnea said that they are disappointed by the move to withdraw the much-needed rule.

This sleep-inducing condition that affects at least one in ten individuals to some extent is increasingly popular. In some severe cases, sleep apnea can render an individual with symptoms that are close to classic narcolepsy, the tendency to fall asleep with very little or no warning. People suffering from sleep apnea don’t breathe well while having their sleep, thus degrading the quality of sleep and as a result leaving an individual impaired and exhausted during the day.

Surprisingly, this condition has also been witnessed in people who have reported sleeping well and for more than eight hours not aware that breathing interruptions experienced during sleep are precluding, restorative cycles. Thus the dire need for screening particularly among individuals whose jobs revolve around commanding heavy machinery at high speeds and near people.

It’s possible that some of the policies put to effect by elected officials are a good approach to keeping people well and safe. A comprehensive approach can include catering for apnea screening and treatment which could save a lot of money by preventing crashes. Yet Donald Trump has pledged to go against regulations by denouncing a plethora of tools to address a majority of public health problems.

Trump’s stand is that such regulations are nothing but “major job killers.”

The offshoot is that a “free market” shall help avert such problems. This kind of solution to public-health problems will be nothing straightforward. For the case of truck drivers with sleep apnea, consumers could, for instance, demand to purchase only products from companies that with freight services that screen their truckers for this sleep-inducing condition. Honestly, the chances of saving or creating more jobs by removing the driver screening regulation are slim. In fact, the attempt to create more jobs by getting rid of rules could in itself turn out to be the job killer!

References

TheHill.com | TheAtlantic.com

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