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Study finds truckers with poor health more apt to crash

Illinois residents who drive a truck for a living or who know someone who does might be interested in a study that showed how the risk of accidents quadruples for commercial truck drivers who have three or more health issues, compared with healthier ones. The study was conducted at the University of Utah School Of Medicine.

Researchers involved in the study took into account several factors regarding commercial truck drivers. Examining the medical records belonging to roughly 50,000 commercial truck drivers, they found that of that amount, more than a third had at least one health problem linked with poor driving skills, including diabetes, lower back pain and heart disease. The researchers then considered the crash history of the truck drivers and learned that those suffering with at least three flagged medical conditions were more prone to have been involved in an accident.

The reason many truck drivers tend to have trouble keeping healthy is largely due to the fact they do not get proper exercise and lack a good diet and sufficient sleep. Researchers discovered that the crash rate resulting in injuries among all commercial truck drivers in the study was 29 per 100 million miles traveled. That rate increased to 93 per 100 million miles traveled for truck drivers who had up to three health disorders. The study's lead author stated that the information proves that lower health standards increase the risk for crash and that truckers could do more to prevent such accidents.

Truck driver fatigue is a major cause of semi truck accidents around the country. People who have been harmed in such a collision may want to have legal help when seeking compensation from the driver as well as the trucking company.

Source: Safety and Health, "Truckers' medical conditions can increase crash risk: study", Jan. 25, 2017

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