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Ohio motorists may want to know that commercial truck drivers with three or more health problems are more likely to be involved in traffic accidents. A study found that many truck drivers have trouble staying healthy because they are sedentary for long periods of time and often develop poor eating and sleeping habits.

For the study, which was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, researchers at the University of Utah School of Medicine looked at the medical records and crash histories of almost 50,000 commercial truck drivers. They found that 34 percent of the drivers had at least one “flagged” health condition, meaning it was a medical problem linked with poor driving performance. These health conditions included diabetes, heart disease and low back pain. They also found that drivers with three or more flagged conditions were more likely to have a history of truck crashes.

The researchers discovered that the overall crash rate for commercial truck drivers was 29 semi truck accidents per 100 million miles traveled. However, the crash rate for drivers with three or more flagged health conditions was 93 accidents per 100 million miles traveled. The study accounted for other contributing factors like age and professional driving experience.

Commercial truck drivers have a responsibility to drive safely on Ohio roads. If a truck accident is caused by speeding, distracted driving or other negligent behaviors, injured victims may wish to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who caused the crash. Typical damages paid out in such a lawsuit may include medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Source: Safety and Health, “Truckers’ medical conditions can increase crash risk: study“, David Wild, Jan. 25, 2017