New Study Indicates Co-relation Between Health Problems and Safety
There are many variables making one truck driver “safer” than another, such as skill and experience, but a new study suggests that even relatively minor health conditions can make a driver far more likely to have an accident if they have three or more medical issues.
Commercial truck drivers with three or more medical conditions double to quadruple their chance for being in a crash over healthier drivers, reports a new study conducted by the University of Utah School of Medicine.
Maintaining good health can be challenging for a truck driver. Too many hours sitting in the cab, too many fast-food drive meals and stress combine to make staying healthy feel like a second job! While there is no miracle solution, you should know to take action to support your health.
Reviewing the medical records of nearly 50,000 commercial truck drivers finds evidence that their relatively poor health may put them at risk in more ways than one. 34 percent have signs of at least one of several medical conditions that had previously been linked to poor driving performance, such as heart disease, low back pain and diabetes. Researchers then compared their medical records to their crash histories and found that drivers with at least three of the flagged conditions were more likely to have been involved in a crash.
The new findings could mean that one health condition, say diabetes, is manageable but diabetes in combination with high blood pressure and anxiety could substantially increase a driver’s risk.
“Right now, conditions are thought of in isolation,” says the study’s lead author Matthew Thiese, Ph.D. “There’s no guidance for looking at multiple conditions in concert.” Current commercial motor vehicle guidelines pull truckers with major health concerns from the pool but do not factor in an accumulation of multiple minor symptoms.