It is not a secret that large commercial trucks are a safety hazard. Due to their size, length, weight and imprecise operating capacities, these vehicles are inherently dangerous. Yet, millions of them successfully crisscross the U.S. every day. The rigorous training and licensing requirements that truck operators must meet help to keep all travelers safe while big rigs are operational.
And yet, there are challenges that truck drivers face that can lead to unnecessary dangers that have nothing to do with the inherently hazardous nature of the machinery they drive. For example, a truck driver’s own health concerns can place them at an unintentionally heightened risk of potentially causing an injurious truck accident.
What’s health got to do with trucking safety?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently took steps to ensure that medical examiners who review the health of truckers undergo training and recertification far more often than they have had to in the past. One of the concerns that inspired the shift is that without these efforts, too many of the nation’s unhealthy truckers will remain cleared to drive when they ought to be attending to potentially dangerous health conditions before striking back out on the road.
When truck drivers aren’t healthy, they may experience cognitive and/or physical challenges that lead to a higher risk of causing an accident. Given the potentially catastrophic consequences of large trucking crashes, it makes sense that government agencies want to do what they can to mitigate this risk.
By understanding that a trucker’s health can unintentionally affect crash risk, you may be more empowered to ask about the health of a trucker who may have recently caused you harm as a result of a collision. By learning more about the personal circumstances of those who are involved in a crash, you may discover that they are liable for your harm due to factors that aren’t identifiable at a glance.