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Study suggests trucker health can factor into truck accidents

Trucks are a part of the landscape in Allegheny and across the U.S. While the majority of these trucks are simply seen and accepted as necessary to transport goods back and forth, it can be ignored that an 18-wheeler truck accident can cause serious injuries and even death. These vehicles are large, often travel at high speed and go long distances. The drivers might or might not be qualified. The truck could be operated unsafely. For those who have been injured or lost a loved one in a truck crash, certain factors that recede into the background must be considered. One is trucker health.

Truckers often have health problems that are made worse by their lifestyle choices such as eating poorly and resting intermittently while working. Research from the University of Utah looked at data of more than 49,000 commercial truck drivers. It was found that 34 percent had at least one of the following: diabetes, pain the lower back, and heart disease. All of these can negatively affect a trucker's ability to drive in a safe manner. A driver who has three or more of the medical issues is between two and four times as likely to have an accident in comparison to truckers who are healthier.

Drivers who had medical issues had 93 accidents for every 100 million miles they traveled. Among all drivers, it was 29 per 100 million miles. The study was not meant to indicate that drivers who have health issues or more dangerous, but it does indicate that if a driver has poor health, he or she is a higher potential risk. While a truck company is required to keep track of driver health before letting them work, this does not account for minor symptoms.

People who are in an accident with a truck need to be aware of its potential cause. The cause of the collision might be obvious or it might be something that was more understated and led to the driver having issues while behind the wheel. Since these crashes can cause serious injuries and death, it is important for those who were hurt and their family members to discuss a potential case with an attorney experienced in pursuing cases for truck accidents.

Source:, "Truckers' Poor Health: An Accident Waiting to Happen?," Jan. 19, 2017

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