Long-haul truckers, those who make runs that last at least overnight, play a vital role in California’s booming economy, as they deliver goods to businesses and individuals across the state. Consequently, it is nearly impossible to drive in the Encinitas area without seeing at least one semitruck.
When you pass tractor-trailers, you know their drivers are professionals. After all, long-haul trucking requires drivers to carry commercial driver’s licenses. Most truckers also go through extensive training. What you may not realize, though, is long-haul trucking is among the unhealthiest occupations in the U.S.
A University of North Carolina-Greensboro study
Researchers at UNC-Greensboro recently published the results of a long-term study on the health of long-haul truck drivers. The study’s findings mirror earlier ones from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Specifically, according to the UNC-Greensboro study, long-haul truckers are twice as likely as other drivers both to be overweight or obese and to use tobacco products. Each of these is concerning, as excess weight and smoking can lead to a variety of adverse health effects.
These include the following:
- Heart disease and heart attack
Poor health and accident risk
There is a correlation between poor health and accident risk. That is, if truckers have medical emergencies behind the wheel, they may become unable to control their semitrucks. Because tractor-trailers often weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, loss of vehicle control may cause or contribute to a catastrophic accident.
Truckers and the trucking companies that employ them have an obligation to keep others reasonably safe. Ultimately, if a driver’s health conditions cause a crash that injures you or someone you love, you may have grounds to pursue substantial financial compensation.