Do Driver Health Issues Contribute To Truck Accidents?
Big rig trucks are exponentially bigger and heavier than ordinary passenger vehicles. According to a trooper with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, cars, for example, weigh between 2,000 and 3,000 pounds. By contrast, a fully loaded semi-truck can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds.
The huge size and weight disparity between commercial trucks and cars means that collisions between the two often result in serious injuries and death for people in the smaller vehicles. Accordingly, it is imperative that truck drivers and truck companies adhere to all state and federal safety regulations and that they always drive with safety as their number one priority.
Because truckers frequently work long hours and drive great distances, truck driver fatigue is a well-known safety concern that federal regulations have attempted to address. But what about a truck driver's health, can that lead to truck accidents in Oklahoma?
In 2013, 23 big rig truck accidents in Oklahoma involved truck drivers who had medical issues. Under federal regulations, approved doctors must test each truck driver's blood pressure, vision and hearing. In Oklahoma, a group of troopers are assigned to watching out for truckers and ensuring that they have up-to-date medical cards.
When a truck accident is caused by a truck driver, any injured victims can seek to hold the driver and the truck company liable for their damages. This is true regardless of whether the accident resulted from the driver's health problems, fatigue or other dangerous driving behavior.
Truck companies and their drivers are highly regulated, because so much is at stake when an 80,000 pound vehicle travels on the highway amongst other vehicles. Drivers in cars and other smaller vehicles should do their part to help avoid truck accidents. Likewise, truck drivers must adhere to all driving laws and safety regulations.
Source: KOCO.com, "Oklahoma tightening restrictions on truck driver health," Paul Folger, Accessed Sept. 19, 2015