The Dangers of Truck Drivers with Serious Health Conditions
It goes without saying that you need all of your faculties in order to safely operate a large commercial vehicle at speeds of up to 80 miles per hour—or more. Not surprisingly, then, it puts everyone on the road at risk when truck drivers who have serious health conditions get behind the wheel. Unfortunately, this scenario happens more often than you might expect, in spite of federal regulations that prohibit individuals with certain health conditions from driving.
Fortunately for victims, if a trucking company allows a driver to operate a vehicle when it was aware or should have been aware the trucker had a health condition that could result in a medical emergency, anyone injured by that driver could likely recover compensation for their injuries and other losses. Here are some of the health conditions that should bar a truck driver from getting behind the wheel of a truck:
- Poor vision – Truck drivers need to be able to see well enough to accurately assess their surroundings while driving. As a result, people with vision problems are typically disqualified from driving commercial motor vehicles.
- Hearing loss – Safely operating a large commercial truck requires awareness of what’s around you, and it’s essential that truck drivers are able to hear safety-related sounds like horns or electronic warning sirens. Truck drivers who are unable to hear well enough will not be certified to drive by the Department of Transportation.
- High blood pressure – High blood pressure puts people at a significantly increased risk of a heart attack. During a heart attack, a truck driver would likely not be able to stay in control of his or her vehicle, potentially resulting in serious injuries to anyone in the vicinity. For this reason, truck drivers whose blood pressure is too high are barred from driving commercial vehicles.
- Epilepsy – Epilepsy is a medical condition that can cause sudden, unexpected seizures during which a person loses control of his or her body. Federal law currently disqualifies people who a physician has diagnosed with epilepsy from legally operating a commercial motor vehicle unless they have been seizure-free and off medication for at least 10 years.
- Diabetes – Diabetics are at an increased risk of having a seizure or losing consciousness while driving, both of which could result in a serious, injury-causing accident. For this reason, many drivers with diabetes are not cleared to drive commercial trucks. Since 2003, however, people with insulin-treated diabetes are assessed on a case-by-case basis and may drive a commercial vehicle if they meet certain conditions.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a New London Truck Accident Attorney
If you have sustained injuries in a truck accident that a driver with a serious health condition caused, you should speak to an attorney as soon as you can. At Polito & Harrington, LLC, we are committed to representing the rights of truck accident victims and know how to get our clients the compensation to which they are entitled. Call us today at (860) 447-3300 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a truck accident lawyer in New London.