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Todd Dills

NASTC head David Owen’s sleep apnea story

| November 18, 2014
David Owen, pictured during his testimony at the New Entrant testing listening session at the 2014 Mid-America Trucking Show.

David Owen, pictured during his testimony earlier this year at the New Entrant testing listening session at the 2014 Mid-America Trucking Show.

At the National Association of Small Trucking Companies’ annual meeting two weeks back, as I wrote at the time, NASTC founder David Owen spoke about the organization’s in-the-works program for member companies that offers their drivers a programmatic path to get out ahead of medical examiners’ growing willingness to issue conditional medical certification contingent on sleep apnea testing.

Read about it in more depth here.

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But Owen also spoke about the apnea situation today in both historical and highly personal terms. Hear his story in the below podcast, in which he traces the late regulatory focus on driver fatigue back to the day golfer Payne Stewart died, which also happens to be the day that he made a pledge to himself to get a sleep study. He’s been treated with a CPAP machine since shortly after that time.

All the same, he’s firm in his belief in a professional’s ability to manage fatigue, whether suffering from sleep apnea or not. And while it doesn’t mean that someone living with apnea shouldn’t be treated, Owen cites a fundamental disagreement with those who believe untreated apnea is public highway safety danger No. 1. Take a listen:

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