It is virtually impossible to drive in the Fargo-Moorhead area without passing at least one tractor-trailer. After all, I-29 and I-94 are major commercial thoroughfares that allow for the transportation of goods throughout both the U.S. and Canada.
Commercial truck drivers must undergo regular physicals and health screenings to be certain they are healthy enough to pilot their vehicles safely. Still, according to a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, long-haul truckers tend to be unhealthier than other drivers on the road.
The dangers of obesity
The CDC notes that obesity has become endemic in the U.S. In fact, nearly 74% of Americans over the age of 20 are either overweight or obese. When compared to other drivers, over-the-road truckers are about two times more likely to carry excess body weight. Obesity, of course, may cause or contribute to a variety of health conditions, including the following:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Type 2 diabetes
- Coronary heart disease
- Sleep disorders
Any of these ailments may impair a trucker’s ability to drive safely. That is, a truck driver either may have chronic weight-related disorders or may suffer a medical emergency when on the road. Either way, your life may be in danger due to a trucker’s poor health.
The risks of smoking
The CDC study also points out that truckers are twice as likely to smoke cigarettes. Just as being overweight or obese can lead to potentially catastrophic health disorders, smoking increases a person’s risk of developing emphysema, cancer, stroke and heart disease.
If a trucker is not healthy enough to drive safely, an accident may be imminent. Ultimately, if you suffer an injury in an accident involving an unhealthy trucker, you may be eligible for substantial financial compensation from the driver and the trucking company.