URBANA -- A common medical condition could be risking your safety on the road. But doctors and some truck drivers are keeping motorists safe with enough sleep.
Truck driver Carlos Moore makes a living behind the wheel. But life on the road means working long hours.
"In a 24 hour period, you can be on duty 14 hours a day," Moore said. "But you can only drive 11 of the 14 [working hours]."
When driving past a semi-truck accident, Moore said most people speculate the driver fell asleep.
On Tuesday, a semi truck driver crashed into a construction zone on I-72 in Niantic. Deputies say the driver fell asleep at the wheel.
"Nine times out of ten, it's fatigue," Moore said. "A guy is trying to fight sleep, trying to make that schedule, and trying to get that next delivery off."
Dr. William Scott evaluates drivers getting a commercial driver's license (CDL), required for driving a truck. Studies show up to 28% of CDL holders have sleep apnea.
It causes a person's upper respiratory airway to collapse, causing breathing to stop. The sleeper wakes up many times each night, and daytime sleepiness can occur.
"Their ability to concentrate falls, they nod off and fall asleep behind the wheel," Scott said.
Often times, many people don't know they have sleep apnea.
"It's a safety hazard without a doubt. But it's very treatable if it's recognized and dealt with."
Treatment includes using a special breathing machine and mask at night.