Truck driver error is the most common cause1 of collisions involving large commercial trucks in the United States. When you think of driver errors, you likely think of texting and driving, drunk driving, speeding, and similar acts. One type of driver negligence that is not widely recognized is driving with health issues.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)2 has stringent regulations for commercial truck drivers regarding their health. In order to obtain or maintain a commercial driver’s license (CDL), an individual must undergo and pass a medical examination to show that they do not have any specific health conditions that may interfere with their ability to safely operate a commercial truck. In the past, drivers would collude with medical professionals to get false sign-offs on a clean bill of health do that they could renew their licenses. In response to this fraudulent and dangerous practice, the FMCSA now requires that all drivers go to a government-approved medical professional for their examinations.
Health conditions that may cause accidents
Health is extremely important for truck drivers for several reasons. First, if a driver suffers a serious medical emergency such as a heart attack while driving, he will most likely lose the ability to control the truck and a runaway truck will likely result in serious collisions. Additionally, problems with joints and muscles—which are common in older drivers—can prevent the driver from physically being able to use the steering wheel and pedals to control the vehicle.
Some examples of health conditions that a driver should report include:
- Cardiovascular issues
- Epilepsy or similar seizure disorders
- Hearing or vision impairments
- Mental health issues
If a driver is aware that any of these conditions has developed and continues to operate a commercial truck, he will likely be found negligent and liable for all resulting injuries and losses.
Contact an experienced Atlanta truck accident lawyer for a free consultation
At the Atlanta office of Boling Rice, LLC, our skilled truck accident attorneys know how to handle complex commercial truck accident cases. If you have been injured, call today at 770-744-0890 fro a free consultation today.