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Unhealthy truck drivers a danger to the road

Unhealthy truck drivers could be placing drivers in California and across the United States at risk, according to a new study. In fact, truck drivers who suffer from three or more medical issues could be up to four times as likely to crash their vehicles as their healthy colleagues.

Researchers at the University of Utah School of Medicine analyzed the medical records of nearly 50,000 commercial truck drivers and matched them with their professional driving histories. They found that the overall rate of injury crashes involving truck drivers was 29 per 100 million miles driven. However, drivers who had three or more medical conditions had a rate of 93 injury crashes per 100 million miles driven. Thirty-four percent of drivers had at least one medical problem that could negatively impact their driving, including diabetes, heart disease and low back pain. Eighty-two drivers were found to have three or more such health problems.

Truck drivers can have difficulty maintaining their health due to the sedentary nature of their job and the potential for poor eating and sleeping habits while on the road. However, the researchers point out that around 75 percent of injury crashes involving trucks result in the occupants of another vehicle suffering injuries. This makes the health of commercial truck drivers a public safety issue.

Truck driver negligence could lead to a serious crash that injures innocent members of the public. Victims who are injured in such a crash have the right to pursue compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the truck driver who caused the crash. Possible damages sought in personal injury lawsuits include medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Source: Science Daily, How safe is that driver next to you? A trucker's poor health could increase crash risk," Jan. 17, 2017

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