Long-haul truckers, sometimes known as over-the-road truckers, spend thousands of hours between the wheel every year. These commercial drivers may cross several states in just a few days. To protect the public, truckers must healthy enough to avoid accidents.
When trucking accidents happen, they are often catastrophic. In fact, large trucks play a role in roughly 10% of all fatal crashes in the U.S., despite being only 4% of registered vehicles. Regrettably, poor health may increase a trucker’s chances of causing a serious accident.
The dangers of smoking
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that long-haul truckers are two times more likely to smoke tobacco than other motorists. Smoking, of course, may lead to lung disease, cancer, heart disease, emphysema and other dangerous medical conditions. Depending on their severity, these conditions may drastically impair a trucker’s driving abilities.
The risks of obesity
The CDC further notes that many truckers tend to be overweight or obese. Just as smoking can contribute to serious disease, obesity may increase blood pressure, cause high cholesterol and enhance stroke risk. Obese truck drivers may also be vulnerable to debilitating heart attacks.
The role of the trucking company
Because truckers may be reluctant to report health-related concerns, trucking companies should keep a close eye on driver health. In addition to requiring regular health screenings, company employees should watch for signs of illness and injury. If trucking company officials choose to look the other way, they inadvertently may be putting your life in jeopardy.
Ultimately, if you sustain a life-changing injury in a collision with a semi truck, investigating the driver’s health may help you pursue the financial compensation you need to get your life back on track.