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Trump Administration Scraps Sleep Study Rule Aimed at Curbing Truck Accidents

Texas Truck Accident Lawyer - Texas 18 Wheeler Accident Lawyer - Zehl & Associates

The Trump Administration’s regulatory roll-back continued last week, as two federal safety agencies announced the withdrawal of a proposed rule that would have required the operators of commercial trucks, buses, and trains to undergo sleep apnea testing.

22 Million Americans Suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder that causes breathing to stop periodically while an individual is asleep, robbing victims of much-needed rest.  As many as 22 million Americans and thought to suffer from the disorder.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) proposed the sleep study rule in March 2016, citing concerns that  undiagnosed or inadequately treated, obstructive sleep apnea “can cause unintended sleep episodes and resulting deficits in attention, concentration, situational awareness, and memory, thus reducing the capacity to safely respond to hazards when performing safety sensitive duties.”

In a notice posted on August 4th, the two agencies said they were now abandoning the proposed regulation, and argued that railroads and commercial carriers should decide whether to test employees for sleep apnea.

The decision quickly drew the ire of safety watchdogs, with Public Citizen calling it an industry give-away that would likely cost millions of lives.

“America would be better off if the Trump administration were asleep at the regulatory switch,” Robert Weissman, president of the advocacy group. said in a statement dated August 8th, “Ten, at least, lifesaving rules – such as a requirement to ensure truck drivers and train engineers be tested for sleep disorders requiring treatment – would continue forward. Instead, hopped up on extreme doses of deregulating energy drinks, the administration is frenetically rushing to endanger Americans.”

According to the New York Times, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said it was disappointed that the agencies were abandoning the “much-needed rulemaking,” noting that it has identified obstructive sleep apnea as a probable cause in 10 highway and rail accidents in the past 17 years. The disorder is also being explored as a possible cause in several other NTSB accident investigations.

The Times also noted that two New York commuter railways – Metro-North and the Long Island Rail Road –  did impose sleep study requirements on engineers after the fatal 2013 crash of Metro-North train was linked to the operator’s severe, undiagnosed sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea has since been diagnosed in 11.6% of Metro-North engineers.

Undefeated Bus Accident Lawyers Win $6 Million Settlement in Greyhound Rollover Crash Following Court-Ordered Sleep Study

In 2016, our Undefeated Bus Accident Lawyers won a $6 million settlement on behalf of five passengers injured in a 2013 rollover crash involving a Greyhound Bus.

The case was resolved after a court-ordered sleep study – the first of a commercial driver in the state of Texas – indicated that the Greyhound driver suffered from moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea, causing him to fall asleep at the time of the crash. The recovery represents the largest settlement in Greyhound’s corporate history.

CLICK HERE to watch Ryan Zehl discuss the Greyhound settlement on WCPO-TV.

Contact Our Undefeated Truck Accident Lawyers Today for a Free Legal Consultation at 1-888-603-3636 or CLICK HERE

In the past 10 years alone, our Undefeated Truck  Accident Lawyers have recovered more than $1 billion on behalf of our clients, including record-setting settlements and verdicts against R&L Carriers and  Oakley Trucking, as well as Two of the Largest Accident Settlements in Texas.

If you or loved one were injured in a truck accident or other commercial vehicle crash, our personal injury lawyers can help. All consultations are free, and we only represent clients on a contingency basis. So you won’t have to pay any legal fees unless we win your case.

Contact our Undefeated Accident Attorneys for a Free, No-obligation Consultation by Clicking Here,  or call 1-888-603-3636.