The federal government heavily regulates the trucking industry in order to keep our roads safer. For example, one regulation that was designed to eliminate drowsy driving limits the number of hours that truck drivers can operate a truck without taking a break. One topic that is not addressed in these regulations is a truck driver’s health, which could cause truck accidents according to new research.
Researchers at the University of Utah School of Medicine set out to determine if there was a link between a truck driver’s health and his risk of being involved in a truck accident. The team analyzed medical records from nearly 50,000 truck drivers and identified certain conditions that could be linked to poor driving performance. Some of these conditions include heart disease, high blood pressure, low back pain, and diabetes. Sadly, over one-third of the truck drivers analyzed in this study had at least one of these conditions.
But, having one of these conditions may not be enough to increase the driver’s risk of being involved in an accident. Researches found that the rate of accidents involving injuries among all drivers was 29 for every 100 million miles traveled. The rate of accidents did not significantly increase until researchers began looking at drivers that had three or more medical conditions. These drivers were involved in accidents with injuries at a rate of 93 per every 100 million miles traveled.
What does this tell us? Drivers may be able to control their health problems if they only have one medical condition that needs to be treated. But, if they begin to develop additional health problems, they could put others on the road in danger.
Based on this research, it is clear that trucking companies need to pay attention to their drivers’ health. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for drivers to take care of themselves given the fact that they spend so much time confined to a small space, must adapt to less than ideal sleeping patterns, and typically do not have many healthy food options while on the road. This presents a unique challenge that truck drivers, trucking companies, and federal government agencies may need to address in order to prevent tragic accidents.
A truck driver’s health isn’t the only thing that can cause a truck accident. If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm today. Our team will immediately begin to investigate the case to identify the parties that can be held liable. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.