A study out of University of Minnesota has determined that driver health may play an important role in truck accidents. Researchers examined the BMI (body mass index) of newly hired commercial truck drivers. The study researchers measured accident rates and BMI of the drivers for two years, or until the drivers left the company. The study found that truck drivers with a BMI of 35 or more – which is considered extremely obese – had an accident rate of 43-55% higher than drivers with healthy BMI. Commercial drivers who were overweight or moderately obese were not found to have significantly higher accident rates than drivers with ideal BMI ranges.
What does this mean for truck accidents in Homestead and other communities in Florida? It could mean that in addition to driver error and other common causes of truck accidents, obesity and health issues could be contributing to traffic accidents in Homestead and in Florida. Obesity can lead to many serious illnesses, such as:
1) Sleep apnea. Patients who are obese are more at risk of sleep apnea, a potentially dangerous condition causing patients to experience disrupted sleep cycles. Patients with sleep apnea often wake during the night because their breathing is cut off. When patients wake up, they may not remember having problems sleeping but they generally experience extreme fatigue during the day and may have a hard time getting “enough” sleep. Truck drivers with sleep apnea may be extremely tired on the road, in some cases driving off the road or losing control of their vehicles, leading to serious collisions.
2) Sudden death. Patients who are obese are more likely to suffer from heart problems. Undetected and untreated, heart disease can lead to heart failure and other types of emergencies that can lead to sudden death.
3) Obesity-related diseases. Obesity has been linked to many serious illnesses, including diabetes, cancer, heart disease, strokes, and other serious ailments. Truck drivers who are obese are at risk of developing these diseases, which can affect their ability to drive. In cases where a disease goes undetected, the symptoms can affect a driver’s ability to operate a truck. In some cases, symptoms can be severe enough that they lead to a truck-related car accident in Homestead or other communities.
4) Mobility issues. Severe obesity may make it harder for truck drivers to move easily. This can make it harder for truck drivers to check blind spots and generally drive safely.
5) Medication issues. In many cases, truck drivers who are severely obese and have health issues because of it may be taking medication for their medical conditions. Prescribed and over-the-counter medications, however, may have serious side effects that affect a driver’s ability to drive safely.
If you have been injured in a truck accident in Homestead or anywhere in Florida, you deserve answers. You deserve to know what has caused the accident that has led to your injuries, and in some cases you may be entitled to compensation that can help pay for the costs of your injuries. If you have suffered injuries in a traffic accident, contact the Flaxman Law Group today for a free consultation that may help answer some of the questions you may have about your legal rights and options.