Truck Driver Health Issues Can Lead to Deadly Accidents

by Staff | March 29th, 2021

Truckers have one of the hardest occupations in the U.S. Their job often includes driving for long periods, which can lead to a sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle.

The health conditions that affect truck drivers can sometimes put them at risk of losing their commercial driver’s licenses. Unfortunately, those health problems can also endanger everyone truck drivers share the road with.

Let’s look at some of the health conditions disproportionately affecting truck drivers and why it should matter to all of us.

Sleep Apnea Is a Serious Problem in the Commercial Trucking Industry

Research shows that 28% of commercial truck drivers have mild to severe sleep apnea, which is up to three times more than sleep apnea rates among the general population.

When truck drivers have sleep apnea, especially the more severe forms like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), they’re less likely to get restorative sleep and stay alert behind the wheel. OSA leads to excessive daytime sleepiness, and that makes truck drivers far more likely to be involved in crashes.

Sleep Apnea Is Just the Beginning of Health Problems Facing Truckers

A survey conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that long-haul truck drivers are more likely than other workers in the U.S. to:

  • Smoke
  • Be overweight
  • Be physically inactive

NIOSH also finds that truck drivers are twice as likely as other workers to be obese and to have diabetes. They’re also twice as likely to smoke. The survey also revealed that 75% of truck drivers said they did not get the recommended amount of physical activity (30 minutes a day, five days a week).

How the Health of Truck Drivers Affects You

All drivers share the road with large commercial vehicles. Because those vehicles are so much heavier, bigger, and harder to bring to a complete stop, it’s the drivers and passengers in smaller vehicles who are most likely to be injured in collisions involving large trucks and passenger vehicles.

In other words, the health of truck drivers impacts the safety of all road users, from passenger car drivers to bicyclists to pedestrians. When these vulnerable road users are involved in crashes with large trucks, they often face expensive medical bills, lost income, property damage, pain, suffering, and even death.

If You’ve Been Injured in a Large Truck Crash, You Could Be Owed Compensation

Truck accidents often result in serious injuries, which also means expensive medical bills for the injured person. Trucking and insurance companies know this, and they go out of their way after a crash to mitigate their liability and put it on the shoulders of the injured person. In fact, it’s not unheard of for trucking and insurance companies to send a representative to the scene of the crash to solicit signatures from injured people to reduce or deny their claims.

At Berg Injury Lawyers, we know the tactics used by insurers and trucking companies, and we fight to protect the rights of innocent drivers injured in large truck accidents. If you’d like to schedule a free consultation, contact our California truck accident lawyers today.