It is important for truck drivers to operate their vehicles safely and reliably. After all, driving an 80,000-lb big rig often full of hazardous materials is a serious responsibility. Yet, even when truck drivers take all the necessary safety precautions, obey all the speed limits, and avoid alcohol and drugs, devastating and deadly trucking accidents can still occur. In addition, the medical state of a truck driver can have a significant bearing on the accident. According to a recent study looking at driver health and trucking accident risk, when a truck driver has more medical issues, the risk of being involved in a devastating truck accident increases drastically.
A new study conducted by the University of Utah found that commercial truck drivers with three or more medical conditions actually doubled and sometimes quadrupled their chances of being in a truck accident. Researchers reviewed medical records of nearly 50,000 commercial truck drivers and found that many of them had at least one serious medical condition, such as heart disease or diabetes. Drivers who had at least three of these types of conditions were more likely to be involved in an accident.
For example: Drivers who struggled with diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression were 2-4x more likely to be involved in an accident.
Unfortunately, the work schedule of a truck driver makes it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle. All those hours sitting in the cab will take their toll on even the most health conscious of drivers. Add in the stress of delivering loads on-time and driving in traffic and poor weather conditions and you have the recipe for disaster.
Unfortunately, even with the latest safety features and strict regulations, trucking accidents are still alarmingly common. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,067 people were killed in trucking accidents across the United States in 2015, and an additional 116,000 people were injured. This was a 4% increase from the year before. Sadly, 74% of fatalities were to the occupants of the other vehicles.
Trucking accidents can occur for a variety of reasons, but most commonly they occur due to:
-Overworked truck drivers
-Poor weather conditions
-Risky driving behavior, such as speeding or tailgating
-Driving under the influence of alcohol
-Driving under the influence of drugs
Truck drivers have a responsibility to drive their big rigs safely and to obey all road signs strictly. They are also responsible for slowing down in inclement weather and for avoiding drugs or alcohol while operating their vehicle. Likewise, trucking companies have a responsibility to train their drivers and to ensure that all drivers get the mandated amount of rest while transporting goods across the country. When trucking companies or truck drivers act irresponsibly, they can – and should – be held accountable for their negligence.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a trucking accident in Denver, Boulder, Aurora, or anywhere in the state of Colorado, it is important to know that the law is on your side. A trucking accident attorney can help you obtain the money you need to pay for medical expenses, rehabilitation, lost wages, and pain and suffering. But time is of the essence! Your attorney will need to act swiftly to preserve black box data and vital evidence after your crash. Your trucking accident lawyer may need to speak to forensic experts, accident recreation teams, and physicians regarding your long-term prognosis in order to build a solid case that is designed to obtain maximum compensation for your injuries.
Without a trucking accident lawyer on your side, the trucking company and their insurance adjusters will attempt to limit their liability by offering you a low-ball accident settlement. This settlement will likely be only a fraction of what you need to recover. Do NOT sign anything without first speaking to an experienced Denver trucking accident lawyer.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a trucking accident, it is important to review your case with an experienced Denver trucking accident lawyer immediately. Contact the law firm of Fuicelli & Lee, PC, for a free case evaluation. You pay nothing unless you receive a financial settlement or award. Call our office at 303-355-7202 or fill out our confidential contact form.
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