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Crash risk higher for truckers with multiple health problems

Truck drivers who work in Ohio understand the challenges of staying healthy. Long hours sitting in the cab, broken sleep patterns and truck stop food raise barriers to good health. When a trucker's health deteriorates, they generate more crashes, according to a study from a university medical school.

The statistical analysis performed by the researchers identified the greatest risks among people with multiple medical conditions. Truck drivers troubled by three or more health issues experienced accidents at two to four times the rate of healthier operators. Medical conditions most associated with accident risks included diabetes, low back pain and heart disease. Among the 49,464 medical records of commercial truck drivers examined by researchers, 34 percent of the people had symptoms of at least one of the worrisome medical problems.

When researchers compared accident histories with medical records, people with three or more medical conditions had the greatest number of wrecks. This group of drivers produced accidents that caused injuries at a rate of 93 per 100 million miles. By comparison, all drivers generated a crash risk of 29 per 100 million miles. Because truck accidents harm occupants in the other vehicles 75 percent of the time, the study's lead author concluded that the public had an interest in monitoring the health of truck drivers.

A person injured in a motor vehicle wreck caused by someone else might recover damages with a personal injury claim. An attorney who represents victims of car accidents could support the pursuit of compensation for medical bills and lost income. An attorney might prepare a lawsuit to challenge a low offer from an insurance company. Evidence about the other driver's negligence could compel an insurer to make an appropriate settlement. If necessary, an attorney could advance the case to trial and present the information to a jury.

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