FMCSA withdraws April 19 sleep apnea proposal

| April 24, 2012

After announcing its April 19 proposal to adopt recommendations from two of its advisory committees, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration the same day withdrew the proposal, saying it is “still in the process of carefully reviewing the recommendations,” and that “the initial publication was a clerical error.”

The Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee and the Medical Review Board recommended to FMCSA to tell medical examiners that drivers with a body mass index of 35 or more should be evaluated for sleep apnea.

The recommendations also provide situations that should lead to immediate disqualification of a driver, such as a fatigue-related crash or falling asleep at the wheel, pending evaluation and treatment for sleep apnea. A medical examiner may approve a 60-day conditional card during evaluation and treatment.

The MCSAC and the MRB operate in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. At the agency’s request, the committees deliberated and provided their finalized recommendations to FMCSA on Feb. 6. Both groups see the recommendations as the next step toward a rulemaking.

FMCSA initially proposed to adopt the recommendations as regulatory guidance after reviewing and evaluating comments received from the public. The agency has said it anticipates requesting public comment later this year.

  • Marty Marsh

    This is funny,if there is no driver shortage,this will create one.Do these people have any idea how many fat truck drivers there are?

  • John Wilcox

    They need to do this for all drivers, not just trucks. How many times is it the driver of the car that falls asleep at the wheel causing a crash into a truck?

    I have sleep apnea and am so glad I have it diagnosed and under control.

    Nasal CPAP Masks

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  • Brenda Eichel

    My husband had sleep apnea for most of his life but was only used a machine for the last 5 years.I only know what he told me.From the first night he used it he felt 100% better the next day.He drove a truck for 35 years.He used it even though he really didn’t like to wear it.When you think what can happen if you don’t,it’s worth wearing.I lost him last year.I believe him not having the machine on when he took his nap played a part in the final result.Please if you have to wear one…do not complain because it may save your life and someone elses.I gave his machine to a stranger who could not afford one but needed one.

  • Don Lanier

    Anyone needing this treatment should seek it out, it shouldnt be forced on anyone, its expensive and its not easy to adapt to, I believe safe drivers with Clean MVRS should be exempt. Its very hard to be a target of a RICH corporation who believes there best estimates are factual data. Thiose iof us who are safe drivers, accident free and recognized as such should be exempt from this intrusion.

  • Don Lanier

    Thursday evening National NBC news reports that 70% of transportation workers are TIRED, 50% of Healthcare workers are TIRED, and that everyone from Children to Seniors are TIRED….seems this Lobby has power to push through there message that were all TIRED.

    Anyone whose a shift worker is TIRED…seems America has fallen asleep on the job.

  • Tim DeWitt

    This and a good deal of trucking regulation is never truly about safety. How can we tell? Common sense! They are targeting sleep apnea because, they claim, waking up many times, even for a few seconds, during a person’s sleep period prevents him or her from getting adequate restorative sleep. If that is really true, then why aren’t they taking aim at a far worse and more common culprit of sleep interruption… TEAM DRIVING. How much uninterrupted sleep can a person get bouncing down the road in the sleep berth of a truck being driven on America’s decaying highways? Having been a team driver for nearly a decade, I can testify that it is nearly impossible to get good sleep as a team driver. Putting two drivers in one truck only guarantees that you will have two tired drivers instead of one. This is only common sense and yet they want to use a person’s gender, age and BMI to force him to pay big bucks to determine whether or not her has sleep apnea. I thought we maintained driving records to determine whether a driver is safe, but oops… I guess that’s all about money, too.

  • http://CCJ Tony Calvert

    The thing I don’t like is the FACT that there are other treatments available that are more successful than a CPAP machine. I have Apnea and a CPAP and have found the dental appliance a lot more comfortable and more I sleep better with it AND I am not providing a card to prosecute myself with!!
    Sleep Apnea is real and serious! But a bunch of people more interested in soliciting sleep studies and selling CPAP machines are going to get a lot of people out of a job and carry that diagnoses with them for the rest of they’re lives. I am all for getting help with Apnea but totally against it being part of your DOT medical history. There are other options than buying a machine.

  • Bill Buckner

    If a driver has a clean MVR. DAC and is a safe driver why should he be faced with this. Hes or Her has proven there a safe and effective driver, this is discrimination and aimed at FAT people. If Truckingwantsa drivers to improve there health, give them some real reason instead of a CPAP machine or the STYGMA fo having this forced into your life. Its expensive, and many will have to pay 2000-3000 dollars just to qualify and then the machine rentals, THIS IS WRONG !!

  • Marty Marsh

    It’s about money,not safety.

  • One Voice

    I have heard of several peopke who have had sleep apnea tests, I have not heard any who weren’t diagnised with sleep apnea after the test. Our ancestors were tge same and they didn’t have sleep apnea, thet, just like all the resf of us, were just plain tired.

    How do you plan on getting rid of all the tired people in the world? They aren’t all truck drivers….some are just plain mothers, yet they drive with the most precious of cargo, children. Be very careful you could be the nezt target.

  • Marie Hines

    I was excepted as a driver for Averitt Express they emailed the orintation paper work. I has not told durning the recuiting phase I would have to take this Sleep Apnea test but in paper work I had to sign that part of the DOT physcial would be haveing to take this test and if I didnt pass I would have to pay for the test and equiment.So not knowing if I would pass I turned down Job…they lost a very experienced driver with 15 years with clear MVR,background,CSA.Sad deal

  • Marie Hines

    sorry for spelling should have read it

  • Marie Hines

    I agree with this

  • Jackie Engebretson

    TEAM DRIVING: is a challenge. We have been team driving for over 12 years and yes we are both tired after long runs. We do expediting and you always get turned around on your sleep schedule. You wait all day for a load then get a load at 7:30 P.M. and have to run straight for 48 hrs becasue it’s direct deliverly. This is really hard to do. Then you get on rough roads and there’s no way you are going to get any sleep. We even have a memory foam bed, which helps alot. If we had a normal daily schedule it woundn’t be so bad but our hours are always different. Just depends on when we get our load.

  • Bill Yokley

    First….. Thanks Overdrive for being the great and informative source of information you are. I have used the CPAP Machine for about 5 years now, it works. FMCSA must be needing a new source of money. I don’t think just fat people should be tested. I have many friends that use the CPAP Machine that are very fit and thin people. What is the names of the people who are making these decisions? Why did we allow them to be in the positions they hold if they have no common sense? I have been pulled out in front of, cut off, and cursed out twice while texting this message, do you understand? —- Message sent on a Blackburry——

  • http://CCJ Tony Calvert

    I agree why don’t we publish the names of the people soliciting this stuff. Let everyone know just how much of a friend they really are??
    As I said I have a CPAP and the dental appliance. The dental appliance is way more comfortable-needs no power-and I sleep better with it. And I don’t have a card in a machine to help prosecute myself. This whole thing is so simple to fix and yet made so complicated just like the drivers logbook thing. It’s all about the money to be made from it and safety takes a back seat. And I do agree that ALL driver be checked if we are going to pursue this.

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  • Roy Ijams

    Feb 2012 I was put on cpap. I told sleep folks I never felt

    better using cpap. 6/8/12 while my wife was driving I sleep walked out of truck like it was parked. I got a concussion and 10/1/12 had a seizure from head trauma. sleep well. Sleep folks making billions from people of all ages. New born to 80 yrs old. There are other methods to prevent OSD. I’ll not go into list of side effects unless asked. I had several posts on apneasupport site as the scrooge

  • Roy Ijams

    cpap made me sick. I sleepwalked out of truck while my wife was driving about 60mph. I can’t work now and had cpap mask on as I got out of truck like it was parked.
    Sorry for your loss but we are not all the same.

  • MD

    I have OSA and it is severe. My pressure is set at 15 which is high. The guidelines are that you must maintain 70% usage or a minimum of 4 hours per day to be in compliance each month. Before I received the machine, midday was the worse for me. I would have to take a 3 hour nap without fail because I was so exhausted. Trust me, I have had the machine since the beginning of 2011. No fatigue at all.

  • ozzy

    Obstructivesleep apnea is the most dangerous disease to have, I know have had all my life, from Enlarged Tonsils and Adenoids . what did non treatment cost me, Uncontrolled blood Pressure, Stroke, AFIB, cardiac Arrythmia’s and high CO2 levels in my blood and Enlarged Red Blood Cells. By the time I got treatment I was 1 point from loosing my CDL…. I went from sleeping 3 hrs a night to 7 hrs a night….. Green Bay Packers Player Reggie White Died From not using his CPAP due to Closterphobia. It killed him in his sleep. It causes massive Heart Attacks then you end up leaving your families with out your presence… The machine only cost $375 dollars with mask and everything in Colorado… strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.