It can be unsafe for anyone with certain medical conditions to be behind the wheel. Not only can that person endanger him- or herself, but they can also put others on the road at risk as well. This is especially true when the driver in question is operating a big rig, 18-wheeler, or other large commercial truck. Some of these vehicles weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, which makes them especially catastrophic when an accident occurs.
Drivers may suffer from obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or other dangerous medical conditions and those with more than one of these conditions are even more likely to be involved in an accident. While this may seem obvious, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says that when 38,000 drivers whose medical records and crash records were studied, drivers who had three or more ailments had a crash frequency of 93 incidents per one million miles traveled compared to only 29 incidents per one million miles for other drivers.
Medical Conditions and Accident Risk
Because of these statistics, the trucking industry is regulated strictly to ensure that commercial truck drivers are fit for the road. They have to undergo physical testing and report they’re dangerous health conditions. These dangerous conditions include the following:
- Sleep Disorders – These disorders include sleep apnea and narcolepsy. Nearly 30 percent of truck drivers report suffering from sleep apnea which can result in the driver feeling overly fatigued during the day.
- Brain and Head Injuries – These conditions may include moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries and concussions that can result in long-term cognitive, physical, and behavioral complications, or other impairments.
- Seizure Disorders – Disorders such as epilepsy can affect a trucker and result in them losing control of their semi-truck.
- Other Medical Conditions – Conditions such as diabetes, heart issues, hearing and vision problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, chronic dizziness, kidney or lung conditions, and even mental health conditions can result in a driver being unable to operate their truck correctly, putting them and those around them at risk.
Big Rigs and Personal Injury Claims
To help prove that a trucking company owes you money if you were injured in an accident with a big truck, you must prove that they were negligent. This can be done if your injuries were due to the driver having a medical emergency, which could have been foreseen by the driver’s employer. An experienced attorney can help gather the driver’s medical records and hold the trucking company accountable for their actions.
Contact an Experienced Accident Attorney Today
If you have been injured in an accident involving a big truck, especially if you think the driver may have had a dangerous medical condition, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The Atlanta Trucking Accident attorneys at Council & Associates, LLC can investigate your accident and advise you of your legal options. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and let us focus on the legal side of things while you focus on your recovery.