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Truckers with health issues more likely to cause crashes

North Carolina motorists may be interested to learn that, according to a study, commercial truck drivers who have certain health issues are more likely to be a risk to others on the road with them. Ultimately, the study showed that there was an association between decreasing health and increased crash risk.

For the study, the medical records of approximately 50,000 truck drivers were examined for health issues that were associated with crash risks. The health issues included low back pain, heart disease and diabetes. About 34 percent of the truck drivers had symptoms of at least one of the identified health issues. When researchers examined the drivers' crash histories, they discovered that drivers who had three or more of the identified health issues were more likely to be involved in a trucking accident.

When the truck crashes that resulted in injuries were examined, it was found that the crash rate for all drivers in the study was 29 per 100 million miles traveled. When only drivers with at least three health issues were looked at, the crash rate rose to 93 per 100 million miles traveled. The study did state that it can be very difficult for commercial drivers to stay healthy as they are required to sit for long periods of time.

Another issue that affects many drivers is their poor sleeping habits. Truck driver fatigue is the cause of a lot of crashes, and in many cases it is due not only to poor sleeping habits but to employers telling their drivers to miss their rest breaks in order to meet a deadline. A crash that results could be the subject of a civil lawsuit filed by an attorney representing an injured victim against the trucking company seeking compensation for the plaintiff's losses.

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