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Medical conditions raise crash rate for truck drivers

Virginia residents who drive trucks or share the road with them may be interested to know that truckers with health problems are more likely to be involved in accidents than healthy truck drivers. A study found that the more health problems a trucker has, the higher the chances are of having an accident.

Researchers at the University of Utah School of Medicine say that truck drivers with three or more medical conditions are two to four times more likely to be in an accident than healthier truck drivers. Truckers driving in poor health are not only an accident risk to themselves but also to occupants of other vehicles.

The study notes it's difficult for truck drivers to maintain good health. They must sit for hours at a time, sleep under conditions that are less than ideal, and aren't likely to eat nutritious meals on the road. The study found that 34 percent of commercial truck drivers suffer from at least one health problem, such as diabetes or low back pain. When all truck drivers are considered, their crash rate is 29 accidents per million miles driven. When truck drives with multiple medical conditions are considered, the truck accident rate increases to 93 accidents per million miles.

Researchers say this problem needs to be investigated further because of the danger truck drivers in poor health present to the general motoring population. People who have been injured in a big rig accident caused by a sick or distracted truck driver may want to consult with a personal injury lawyer to see what recourse might be available.

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