January 26, 2017

Trucker's Poor Health May Increase Crash Risk

Truck drivers who have three of more medical conditions have a crash risk of twice to four times that of healthier drivers, according to a newly released study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Investigators at the University of Utah School of Medicine found that commercial drivers’ health could be a risk not only to themselves, but to all the drivers around them.

Keeping and staying healthy is often challenging for the drivers who usually spend long hours on the road, with little nutritious food available and few opportunities for exercise. Additionally, most have poor sleeping conditions, which may may it a challenge to stay healthy.

“What these data are telling us is that with decreasing health comes increased crash risk, including crashes that truck drivers could prevent,” the study’s lead author Matthew Thiese, Ph.D., said.

Researchers matched drivers’ medical and crash histories to analyze. They observed that drivers with at least three of the noted conditions were most likely to have been involved in a crash. Eighty-two drivers were in the highest risk group. Researchers calculated risks from million of data points of relative risk each day up to seven years per driver.

Researchers found the rate of crashes with injuries among all truck drivers was 29 per 100 million miles. That figure jumped to 93 per 100 million miles for drivers with three or more ailments. In 75 percent of injury accidents involving trucks, occupants of the other vehicle are injured.

Thiese pointed out that health conditions are often thought of in isolation So while a driver with a major health condition may be pulled off the road, the safety of the drivers with an accumulation of more minor conditions may not be considered an issue.

If you have suffered serious injuries in any type of truck accident, it is important to find someone who will fight on your behalf. Call our offices today for your free, initial consultation.

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