When traveling on West Virginia roads alongside big rigs, some people may wonder about the driving skills of truckers. In many cases, the trucker's health plays a role in the likelihood of an accident. According to recent research, having multiple medical conditions at one time could make truckers more likely to cause a crash.
Truck drivers have a lifestyle that can involve poor sleep or poor nutrition as the result of spending many hours on the road. Some types of health problems can be caused by or made worse by living a life on the road. A study conducted by the University of Utah School of Medicine found that 34 percent of nearly 50,000 professional truck drivers whose medical records were examined have at least one of several medical conditions linked to poor driving. These conditions include diabetes, heart disease and back pain.
According to the researchers, a greater problem arises when a truck driver has three or more of the conditions. The rate of crashes for all the truck drivers combined was 29 per 100 miles. For those who had at least three of the medical conditions, however, the rate was 93 per 100 miles.
In truck accidents that involve smaller vehicles, the occupants of the smaller vehicles often suffer the most serious injuries. That is why there are many federal trucking regulations. Unfortunately, some trucking companies don't follow the regulations, and drivers wind up driving too many hours without sleep or take other risks. When a person is injured in an accident with a truck, the truck driver or the driver's employer could be liable if negligence or a failure to comply with regulations contributed to the accident.