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The Hart Law Firm

Truckers’ Hidden Health Issues Can Lead to Crashes

When people think about the causes of their truck crashes, they may be looking at distracted driving, drowsy driving, or an oversized load as likely causes. They may not even consider the trucker’s medical condition as contributing to their crash. However, to be safe drivers, truckers must be healthy, and many are not.

6 Medical Conditions That Cause Trucker Crashes

In order to obtain a commercial driver’s license, truckers must meet certain requirements set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). One of these rules is that the trucker be free from any mental or physical impairment that could limit his ability to be a safe driver. Some of the medical conditions that would prohibit someone from becoming a trucker include:

  1. Epilepsy and other seizure disorders
  2. Heart disease and other related medical problems
  3. Respiratory illnesses
  4. Vision or hearing problems
  5. Depression and other mental health conditions
  6. A history of alcohol or substance abuse

These are only some of the conditions that are prohibited. In addition, truckers’ unhealthy lifestyles can also contribute to other medical problems like obesity, sleep apnea, diabetes, and arthritis that can jeopardize their safe driving. Some of these unhealthy practices include:

  • Unhealthy diet caused by long hours on the road and the lack of good food choices
  • Lack of consistent quality medical care because of their work schedules
  • Lack of exercise and prolonged hours of sitting and being sedentary
  • Spending too much time away from home and family
  • Lack of sleep or limited restful sleep
  • Physical nature of the job

New Medical Certification Requirements

Truckers are required to have their medical certification renewed every three years. In the past, many truckers were using doctors who would rubber stamp the certification forms even if the trucker was unhealthy. As a result, FMCSA implemented a new rule effective May 1, 2014, requiring truckers to obtain their medical examination from a certified medical examiner that is listed on the National Registry.

If you were injured in a crash caused by a trucker, you should not ignore his possible medical conditions as causing or contributing to your collision—even if he has a medical certification. Our experienced legal team is here to help and to raise all possible causes of the trucker’s negligence. Call us at (817) 380-4888 or start an online chat to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

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