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Study Links Obesity to a Higher Risk of Trucking Accidents

December 12, 2012

Tractor-trailer accidents result from a number of widely acknowledged causes, such as driver fatigue, driving while under the influence of alchohol or drugs and poorly maintained trucks, to name a few. But a less well-known cause of trucking accidents has recently been confirmed.

Many critics of the process of providing medical certification for truckers have maintained that obesity contributes to many tractor-trailer accidents. A recent study reveals that there is a direct correlation between body mass index and the risk a commercial driver will be in a collision.

A recent two-year study analyzing driver safety revealed that severely obese truck drivers are 43-55 percent more likely to be involved in a trucking accident than drivers with a BMI in the normal range according to a report published in Science Now. The study involved a survey of 744 new tractor-trailer drivers. Those with a BMI higher than 35 percent were considered severely obese and exhibited a higher risk of causing a Georgia trucking collision. Interestingly, those that were overweight (BMI of 25-29) but not obese did not show any higher propensity to be involved in a crash.

The researchers accounted for extraneous factors like age, miles traveled and geographic proximity, and the correlation still held. Although the study does not analyze the cause of the connection between trucking accidents and obesity, it suggest that factors like fatigue, lack of agility and sleep apnea may contribute to the collisions. The results of the study have raised questions about whether obesity should be a screening factor when trucking companies hire new drivers. Currently, trucking regulations do not limit driver fitness certification based on obesity.

Trucking companies that fail to monitor the health of their drivers may be liable for trucking collisions caused by medically compromised drivers. The prospect of a driver with sleep apnea or diabetes losing consciousness behind the wheel is a frightening possibility that can lead to horrific tractor-trailer collisions. These massive vehicles are extremely likely to cause permanent injuries and wrongful death when they strike another vehicle or pedestrian. If you or someone close to you is injured in a collision with a truck driver, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost earnings, permanent disability, pain, suffering, impaired enjoyment of life, burial/funeral expenses and other forms of damages. In certain situations you can also be entitled to punitive damages.

Our Atlanta tractor-trailer accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Truck Accidents

Please Note:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.