Carter Craig, Attorneys at Law

Crash risk increases for ailing truck drivers

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Virginia big rig drivers may be interested in a study that found that commercial truck drivers who have three or more health ailments are four times more likely than their healthier counterparts to crash. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Utah School of Medicine and published in the 'Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine" on Jan. 10.

The study was based on the medical records of nearly 50,000 commercial truck operators, 34 percent of whom showed signs of at least one health problem related to unsatisfactory driving performance, including lower back pain, diabetes and heart disease. The researchers also examined the truck drivers' accident histories and discovered that those who had at least three flagged medical conditions were highly prone to be involved in wrecks.

The study further revealed that many commercial truck drivers are unhealthy because they do not get enough exercise since they are required to sit and drive for hours. They also tend to eat and sleep poorly. Researchers discovered the rate of crashes resulting in injuries among all the truck drivers involved in the study was 29 per 100 million miles traveled. However, for the drivers who suffered from three or more health issues, the rate jumped to 93 per 100 million miles traveled. Additional factors, such as commercial driving experience and age, were also taken into consideration.

A person who sustains catastrophic injuries in a truck accident may want to consider filing a personal injury claim in a civil court. If it can be determined through evidence found in the documentation, such as the victim's medical reports, witness accounts and the police investigation report, that the truck driver was responsible for the crash, the truck driver or his or her employer may be found liable for damages including medical expenses, wage losses and property damage.

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