Sleep apnea: Leadership needed on the issue

The following letter to the editor from reader Eddie Crooks responded to the story of driver Greg Price and the year-and-a-half bureaucratic nightmare that resulted from his well-treated sleep apnea in California. Read that story at this link. Crooks’ letter follows


Well I must say your article on Mr. Price sent the proverbial chill down my spine. I also have sleep apnea, but I manage it like any responsible adult would any medical or physical condition that may intrude upon our lives and affect our ability to make a living … or just to live, period.

Each year as  I prepare to take my annual physical, I stress — not because of my condition, but because of the lack of knowledge and the sheer arrogance of medical professionals. And now we have to concern ourselves with the bureaucratic nightmares that are our state DMVs or MVAs.

Each year I take my read-outs for the usage of my machine [to the medical examiner], and fortunately to this date I have not had any problem getting re-certified.  I see my sleep specialist (who is a certified pulmonologist) on a regular basis. The point of this is that the FMCSA has failed and failed miserably in the management of this issue. The fact that there are no federal regulations and that a federal law stipulated by Congress had to be introduced just to restrict the FMCSA from issuing guidelines tells you everything you need to know about the lack of leadership on this issue.

Every day I read a story or a post about a driver like Mr. Price dealing with the bureaucratic nightmares of apathy and indifference by either the medical professionals, company administrators or state entities in correcting these oversights. Until a formal regulation is established with clear guidelines and borders are created, we will continue to suffer with this. Please continue to beat the drum, and shine the light on this. –Eddie Crooks, Baltimore, Md.


The Business Manual for Owner-Operators
Overdrive editors and ATBS present the industry’s best manual for prospective and committed owner-operators. You’ll find exceptional depth on many issues in the Partners in Business book, updated annually.
Partners in Business Issue Cover