Study links truck drivers’ health status and crash risk

Connecticut residents who are the victims of a truck accident often face serious injuries, some of which can cause temporary or permanent impairment. While many of these types of collisions are caused by truck drivers who were speeding, impaired by alcohol or drugs, or distracted by a cellphone, others are the result of improper maintenance. Now, a study has revealed another possible cause.

A study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine says that commercial truck drivers with three or more health issues present four times the crash risk when compared to healthy drivers behind the wheel. The study involved analysis of about 50,000 commercial truckers. More than one-third of the truck drivers had at least one health issue, such as diabetes, heart disease, and lower back pain. The study concluded that the prevalence of serious health conditions may stem from poor eating, sleeping, and exercise habits.

Truck drivers with three or more serious health conditions had 93 crashes per 100 million miles traveled. In comparison, those with fewer than three of those conditions had a rate of 29 crashes per 100 million miles traveled. The researchers have opined that the health issues that many truck drivers suffer from are incurred due to sitting behind the wheel for long hours at a time, poor sleep habits and poor food choices.

Regardless of their cause, semi truck accidents can cause catastrophic injuries to occupants of other vehicles that are involved in the collision. Victims often face the need for extensive and expensive medical treatment. If it can be determined that the accident was the result of negligence on the part of a trucker or his or her employer, a personal injury attorney could assist the victim in seeking appropriate compensation.