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Do unhealthy drivers cause avoidable truck accidents?

Motorists on highways nationwide, including in North Dakota, are always at higher risks when they share the roads with commercial trucks. Tractor-trailers, semis, 18-wheelers and tanker trucks are massive compared to passenger vehicles, and truck accidents involving smaller vehicles often have devastating consequences. A recent study at a university in another state revealed a distinct link between the health of truck drivers and their chances of crashing.

Analysis of crash details of accidents involving big rigs suggested that staying healthy is a challenge for truck drivers who spend the majority of their work days sitting in one position. When they are not behind the wheel, they must rest before the next trip, and they are often deprived of sufficient sleep and have little time for exercise. Furthermore, finding healthy meals at truck stops may pose another challenge. These matters tend to cause deteriorated health in truck drivers.

The medical conditions commonly brought about by the above include low back pain, anxiety, heart disease, high or low blood pressure, diabetes and more. The study further showed that any of these conditions might lead to accidents that could have been avoided if the drivers were healthy. The chances of causing harm to themselves and other road users multiply if two or more of the risk conditions are present -- for instance, anxiety and high blood pressure. Although studies will continue with a goal to make our highways safer, truck accidents are bound to continue to occur.

Victims of truck accidents in North Dakota may have to cope with life-altering injuries and mountains of medical and other expenses. They may seek recovery by filing personal injury claims in a civil court, but establishing negligence may be challenging. With the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, the possible defendants can be identified such as the truck driver and the vehicle owner. A skilled attorney can also assist with determining and documenting the financial and emotional damages to present to the court for adjudication.

Source:, "Study Links Truck Drivers' Health to Crash Risk", Jan. 17, 2017

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