Shockingly, truckers—on average—have a life expectancy that is 16 years shorter than the national average. This number was released by the Centers for Disease Control and speaks to the epidemic of unhealthy commercial truck drivers. Recently, there has been a lot of pressure on the trucking industry to ensure that truck drivers have access to the tools they need to improve their health.
Benefits Not Limited to Drivers Health
It is a well-known fact that getting healthy and losing weight is beneficial to an individual working towards a fitness goal. However, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association determined that personal health is not the only benefit of helping truck drivers get in shape. The return on investment of truck carriers helping their workforce get active is between 3:1 and 4:1. The benefits from the company can be attributed to:
- Decreased health care cost and losses through workers’ comp
- Controllable insurance premiums
- A continuous improvement of safety records
- Improving the morale of employees and satisfaction with their jobs
- Retaining and attracting healthier, safer drivers
Healthy Drivers Could Save Lives
A study done by the National Transportation Study Board found that “health” was a major factor or contributed to 10 percent of crashes that ended the life of the driver. Many of these accidents involved heart disease, a condition too common among drivers.
Sleep apnea also causes its fair share of accidents. The sleep disorder can cause the driver to be overly tired, even after a “full night’s sleep.” This is because sleep apnea doesn’t allow the sufferer to fall into a deep sleep, cutting off oxygen to the body multiple times each night. The tired driver is then more likely to drive drowsy, causing him to possibly:
- Fall asleep at the wheel
- Become irritable and aggressive while driving
- Be more easily distracted while driving
- Cause an accident because of impaired reaction time, judgment and vision
When Truck Drivers Cause Accidents
The tricky thing about proving that driver health contributed to the accident is that many of the causes are untraceable. Under the current system of driver fitness exams, drivers can often forge documents or avoid seeing a doctor for the exam all together. In the case of drowsy driving, there is no blood test or breath test to determine if the driver was overly tired, so proving fault can be very difficult.
In these cases, what victims of a semi truck accident in Philadelphia need is a personal injury attorney with the resources and experience needed to determine the cause of the crash and get them the compensation they deserve. Do not settle for less than your case is worth. Call 800.860.5801 today to speak with a Philadelphia 18-wheeler accident attorney who is ready to fight for your rights, and get you the compensation you need.