Opinion, Physical, Truckies’ health and wellbeing

How many drivers are hiding this condition for fear of losing their licence?

Are many drivers around Australia who suffer from sleep apnoea hiding the condition for fear of losing their licence and potentially their livelihood?

This is a subject that many drivers around this vast country who may suffer from it won’t discuss publicly.

That is the scenario Spy comes across quite regularly whilst travelling around and speaking to many truckies every year.

And I come across this in every state.

It is a highly controversial matter.

You have to weigh up the safety aspect compared to the possible loss of a job.

On one side of the matter, who would want somebody who falls asleep at the wheel maybe crossing into the oncoming lane and killing or injuring an innocent person or more.

But the flip side is that the loss of income when banned from driving will have a dreadful financial and emotional impact on the driver and their family.

I was diagnosed with it many years ago after falling asleep at the wheel at 8am while driving.

Luckily, I swerved to the left and stopped in a paddock and no damage or injury was the result.

But people came running from all directions to see if I was okay which forced me to seek medical attention.

Soon I was diagnosed with the condition and spent a night in the sleep disorder ward of a local hospital.

Not a pleasant experience with probes attached to parts of your body and a nurse observing your sleep pattern from a nearby room.

The ResMed machine was uncomfortable for the week or two. Image: Alf Wilson

But I ended up purchasing a ResMed machine and while it was very uncomfortable for the week or two, you get used to them.

Since placing the mask onto my face every night I have slept like a baby and have never had any problems with sleep apnoea again.

1 Comment

  1. This condition affects all walks of life but being behind the wheel of a any vehicle just makes it too important to ignore. If you think you have this issue, please seek help for obvious reasons……

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