Accidents Caused by Truck Driver Medical Issues
Commercial truck drivers have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of those on the road. Their equipment, as well as their training, certifications, and driving record, are all vital components of safe truck driving. New research now indicates that the health of a truck driver can have a significant impact on their risk of getting into an accident.
Truck drivers with diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and obesity have an increased risk for trucking accidents. A recent study conducted by the University of Utah School of Medicine found that truck drivers with three or more of these health issues are two to four times more likely to have a trucking accident.
Analyzing the Risks Associated with Trucker Health
Researchers for the study looked at the medical records of 50,000 truck drivers and compared their health problems with their accident rate. The study showed that a truck driver with diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, or obesity has an increased risk of an accident, but if they have a combination of two or three of these medical conditions, their risk of getting into an accident increased significantly.
Obesity is a common problem among truck drivers. A steady diet of fast food combined with a lack of exercise leads to weight gain and obesity. An obese person is prone to sleep apnea because their airways are restricted when they lay down. Chronic sleep apnea causes chronic fatigue, which causes people to fall asleep while engaged in activity, even driving. When you combine sleep apnea with diabetes or high blood pressure, the increased risk of getting into a trucking accident becomes clear.
The loneliness of being on the road, far away from family and friends for long periods of time also increases the risk of depression for many truck drivers. Depression and anxiety, when combined with other health issues, has been linked to an increase in truck accidents. Regular health screenings for truck drivers can identify these risk factors early and may help prevent serious and fatal truck accidents from happening.
While many health conditions can be controlled by medication, diet, and exercise, the impact of suffering from two or three health conditions at the same time is something that safety experts are giving careful consideration. The Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health recommends that investigation into the risks involved with truck drivers continue so that steps can be taken to limit the number of serious and fatal truck accidents that occur each year.
New Brunswick Truck Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Represent Victims of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents commonly result in serious and catastrophic injuries and fatalities. If you have been injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the New Brunswick truck accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr at 732-249-4600 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Our Highland Park, New Jersey offices serve clients in New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.