FMCSAï¿½s Medical Program was authorized by In Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act:
A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), P.L.
411 6. Through its Medical Program initiatives, FMCSA implements policies and provides technical expertise and
guidance on various health and safety issues for commercial drivers and medical examiners in support of safety programs.
Sleep Apnea is a key driver safety issue of concern to Congress, the General Accountability Office (GAO), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and other public and private sector stakeholders.
Untreated OSA may produce extreme sleepiness and reduce alertness, and may contribute ot errors, omissions, and accidents.
Untreated OSA is also associated with detrimental co-morbidities that may affect long-term health and safety.
The impact of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) on the health and safety of commercial truck drivers as well as operators within all transportation modes continues to be a hot topic for discussion.
Despite some progress regarding OSA, there continues to be much misinformation, apprehension, and confusion about policies.
Clear agreement amongst stakeholders on appropriate methods for screening, diagnosis, treatment, and compliance has not been reached.
There continues to be a critical need for additional education and research to promote awareness and accurate understanding regarding this important safety issue.
The NTSB recommended that FMCSA include ï¿½disseminating guidance for commercial drivers, employers and physicians regarding the identification and treatment of individuals at high risk of obstructive sleep apnea.ï¿½ The Sleep Apnea and Multi-Modal Transportation Conference 2011 is being organized by the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA).
This conference, with support from FMCSA, NTSB and other public and private organizations, brings together trucking, regulatory, medical, insurance, legal and policy experts.