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Some truck drivers more likely to crash than others, study says

On behalf of Law Office of Matthew Vance, P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Thursday, November 15, 2012

Some drivers in New Mexico are intimidated when driving near tractor-trailers. This is reasonable considering the large size of semi trucks and the potential for destruction that comes with that size. Though truck drivers are trained to direct their vehicles in a safe way, car accidents do happen and in a recent study, researchers found that there are some truck drivers that are more likely to be involved in motor vehicle accidents.

The study considered the possibility that body mass index has an influence on a truck driver's likelihood to be part of an accident. According to the results, there is a definable relationship between body mass index and the chance of an accident. Researchers found that those drivers that are considered severely obese are between 43 and 55 percent more likely to be involved in an accident during their first two years on the road.

Apparently, many in the trucking industry already believed that this relationship existed. Though data showed the existence of a relationship between those with a BMI of 35 or higher - severely obese - and a spike in accident risk, those marked as obese (BMI between 30 and 35) and overweight (BMI between 25 and 30) did not show the same signs. Those with a normal BMI also did not show a heightened risk for accident involvement.

In order to gather data, the study examined nearly 750 rookie drivers and asked them what their weights and heights were, allowing them to determine the drivers' BMI. Researchers then followed the driving histories of these individuals for the next two years and corrected for factors such as age, number of miles on the road and geographic location to be sure that a heightened BMI does increase the chance of a crash. The study does not declare the reason for this connection but some have considered the potential that obese people have for conditions such as fatigue, sleep apnea and limited agility and those conditions' abilities to influence accident likelihood.

Source: TruckingInfo, "Link Discovered Between Driver Obesity and Crash Risk," Nov. 8, 2012