Truck driver negligence is a leading reason for many truck accidents. Negligence can include everything from speeding to distracted driving. Another way negligence can occur is because of health concerns that are left unaddressed. The health issues can increase the potential for a truck accident.
Because truck driving is such a sedentary activity, truck drivers can develop health issues related to physical inactivity. These drivers may also eat unhealthy, high-calories meals at various stops on their journeys. Often these meals are from fast food restaurants and consist of processed foods.
Other health issues than can affect a driver’s ability to safely operate a big rig include:
- Fatigue from lack of sleep or poor eating
- Exposure to hazardous chemicals being transported in the rig
- Exposure to the vehicle’s diesel fumes, which may lead to respiratory issues and lung problems
- Drug dependency due to an effort to remain awake while driving
- Depression that results from long periods of isolation on the road
- Smoking or vaping which can lead to lung damage and cancer
- Physical injuries due to loading or unloading heavy cargo
Common medical conditions in truckers include:
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
- Sleep apnea
- High blood sugar
- High blood pressure
- Musculoskeletal injuries
Lack of sleep can lead to a number of other health concerns
One of the most dangerous health issues for long-distance truck drivers face is fatigue. Because they are operating a vehicle for multiple hours on end – and often end up sleeping in their trucks – some drivers develop unhealthy and irregular sleep patterns.
Despite the fact that federal regulations dictate the number of hours a truck driver may operate a large truck on the road and how many hours of rest time they must take, some drivers skirt or ignore these rules because of pressure from their supervisors to meet extremely difficult delivery schedules. A driver who does this may suffer chronic fatigue. The result is a constantly drowsy driver who poses a serious threat to his or her safety and the safety of others on the road.
Further, fatigue can be a symptom of another underlying medical condition, including heart disease and brain injury. A driver who chalks up his or her fatigue to poor rest may not seek medical attention, and thereby miss out on a diagnosis of a more serious condition.
If you have sustained an injury in a collision with a drowsy or ill driver, the Richmond truck accident attorneys as Phelan Petty have the knowledge and experience to pursue your rightful compensation. To setup a free consultation about your case, give us a call today at 804.980.7100 or fill out our contact form and send us a message. We serve injury clients throughout Virginia.