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OOIDA seeks rehearing of sleep apnea lawsuit

Drivers who get behind the wheel on Louisiana highways may be particularly concerned about the threat posed by truck accidents. A collision with a large semitruck or tractor-trailer can cause severe injuries, major property damage and even death. Because of the size, weight and mass of these vehicles, accidents can be particularly damaging. There are many concerns about dangerous driving and large trucks, but drowsy driving is one of the most alarming and devastating causes of major accidents.

The issue of how to test for sleep apnea, a cause of drowsy driving and trucking accidents, has led to a lawsuit between the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The OOIDA has filed a motion with the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals requesting a rehearing of its case against the FMCSA, which it accuses of violating federal law. A 2013 law requires the FMCSA to go through a full rulemaking process before implementing new sleep apnea rules.

The OOIDA claims that an update the FMCSA made to rules for driver medical examinations violates the statute. However, the FMCSA says that it only implemented preexisting guidelines for screening for sleep apnea. While a panel of the federal appeals court earlier dismissed the suit, the OOIDA is now seeking to raise it again before all 12 of the court's judges.

Sleep apnea is a major concern because it can lead to dangerous truck driver fatigue as sufferers who do not receive treatment are prone to dozing off behind the wheel due to lack of sufficient sleep. Drowsy driving can cause serious truck accidents that cause major harm to people and property. People who have been injured in truck accidents due to a truck driver's negligent or dangerous driving can consult a personal injury lawyer about how to pursue compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages and other damages.

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