Sleep Apnoea: Why and How Truck Drivers Are at Risk

Thu, Mar 22, 2018


According to a sleep journal research study, sleep can be a struggle for most truck drivers. The study has found that 41% of truck drivers suffer from obstructive sleep apnoea and 16% of those are considered as being severe.

If you’re currently experiencing obstructive sleep apnoea, you’re probably worried about losing your job or worse, drowsy driving or completely falling asleep while driving.


Matter of fact, a study by Open Journal of Preventive Medicine has found out that neglecting sleep disorders like snoring and sleep apnoea can increase the risk of truck driver’s crashing up to 7-fold.

University of California Center’s Prof. Matthew Walker says that truck drivers are more at risk as 80% of them are overweight and 50% are obese.


In Australia, most commercial drivers are male, overweight and middle-to-older-age, and all of that can be factors that can lead to sleep apnoea.  

When you’re sleepy and tired while driving, the automatic response is to stop and take a rest. But if you’re experiencing sleep disorders without having a sleep study and diagnosis done, you shouldn’t be driving at all.


plumber-yawning_1368-514.jpgAccording to Austroads, you are at high-risk of having sleep apnoea if you:

  • Experience moderate to severe cases of daytime sleepiness
  • Have a history of frequent sleepiness while driving
  • Experienced a motor vehicle crash caused by sleepiness

If you’re experiencing any of these, consult a sleep therapist or complete our sleep self-assessment questionnaire, especially if you are a commercial vehicle driver.

Austroads also says that you’re not fit to hold a licence if:

  • Have sleep apnoea
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Frequent episodes of drowsy driving
  • Had a road accident because of sleepiness

Contact your local driver licensing authority now, if you need guidance regarding your fitness to drive.