Have you ever been sitting in traffic on the I-40 and looked at the commercial truck next you, wondering how safe the truck driver was? A recent study reveals that your safety might depend on the health of that truck driver driving next to you.
This study, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, found that commercial truck drivers with three or more medical conditions were two to four times more at risk of causing a preventable crash.
The Lifestyle of a Truck Driver
Truck drivers have a harder time than most living a healthy lifestyle. A truck driver’s job requires them to sit for long hours and sleep in poor conditions. When on the road, they also don’t always have easy access to healthy food. All of these habits can lead to poor health.
In fact, a study published in 2014 in the Journal of Industrial Medicine found that truck drivers had twice the rate of obesity and smoking as the general working population.
How Does a Truck Driver’s Health Affect Their Driving?
The researchers of this new study looked at 49,464 truck drivers and found that 34 percent of participants had one or more health problems associated with poor driving performance. Some of the conditions they looked at included heart disease, high uncontrolled blood pressure and obesity among others.
Among all drivers, the crash rate involving injury was 29 per 100 million miles driven. This crash rate went up to 93 per 100 million miles driven for drivers with three or more medical issues. That’s three times more than the rate of the average truck driver.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, most fatalities in crashes that involve large trucks are occupants in passenger vehicles, so we should all be concerned about the health of truck drivers.
Have you recently been involved in a crash involving a commercial truck? If so, call the experienced Tennessee truck accident attorneys at Gilreath & Associates.