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Don't Mix Driving and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Everyone has been a little tired behind the wheel once or twice. But when it comes to driving with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the risk to your safety and others may be greater than you think.


The Proof Is Out There

Recent studies have examined the effects of obstructive sleep apnea on our ability to drive well.

As it turns out, the fatigue and lack of concentration that naturally accompanies sleep apnea can have noticeable consequences.

In fact, people with mild to moderate sleep apnea have a 13% increased risk of being involved in an accident while driving. And people with severe OSA have a staggering 123% increased risk of being involved in a vehicular accident.

A similar study found that people who don’t get enough sleep, (less than six hours of quality rest per night), have a 33% higher chance of being in an accident.

Clearly, obstructive sleep apnea is a problem when it comes to many things, but especially to driving. This is why trucking companies and other transportation-based businesses regularly screen employees. They even offer treatment for OSA for their staff members who may have a sleeping disorder.

But the good news is that just because you have OSA, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t get behind the wheel. If you suspect you have sleep apnea, keep the following in mind to ensure a safe drive for everyone on the road.


Feeling Tired Everyday? It’s Time to Look Into It

Look for the signs.

One of the hardest aspects of obstructive sleep apnea is being able to diagnose the disorder in the first place.

So if you find that you are lacking concentration and focus while driving, look for the signs that there may be a disruption with your sleeping habits.

  • Loud snoring
  • Restless sleep
  • Morning headaches
  • General fatigue

These are all symptoms of the very common OSA. And they are the red flags to indicate an issue with your rest.


Seek treatment.

Do you suspect you may have obstructive sleep apnea?

Is it interfering with your everyday life and driving abilities?

It’s time to get help!

Modern treatments for OSA are convenient. They are even covered by most health insurance companies, and fit in seamlessly with your nightly sleeping routine, without excess complications. Check them out here:

Best of all, once you start addressing your OSA, those side effects that hinder your driving abilities – lack of concentration, focus, and reaction times – will naturally dissipate with time.


Find an alternate plan.

If your sleep apnea is severe, you may want to examine alternate transportation plans until you have started treatment.

Carpooling, using public transport, and biking or walking will all keep you safe until you can address the root of your sleep deprivation, and get back to a normal driving routine.


The most important thing, when it comes to driving and OSA, is to address it as soon as possible.

Do you think there may be an issue with your sleep?

Have there been instances where you have felt tired or drowsy behind the wheel?

Get tested right away to see if OSA is interfering with your life, and subsequently, your ability to drive.

Because contemporary treatments for OSA are readily available and easy to use, there’s no excuse to let OSA affect your and others’ safety on the road.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us here.

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Don't Mix Driving and Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea and driving is a dangerous combination. But by seeking diagnosis and treatment, you don’t have to let sleep apnea keep you off the road.

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