Study: Truckers' disabilities turn deadly on roads

Written by Andrew Traub

July 25, 2008

Scary.  Very Scary.

Tractor trailer and bus drivers in the United States have suffered seizures, hear attacks or unconscious spells behind the wheel that led to deadly crashes on highways.  Hundreds of thousands of drivers carry commercial licenses even though they also qualify for full federal disability payments, according to a new U.S. safety study.

The problems threatening highway travelers persist despite years of government warnings and hundreds of deaths and injuries blamed on commercial truck and bus drivers who blacked out, collapsed or suffered major health problems behind the wheel of vehicles that can weith 40 tons or more!

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the agency responsible for cracking down on unfit truckers, acknowledges that it hasn’t completed any of eight recommendations U.S. safety regulators have proposed since 2001 including minimum standards for officials who determine whether truckers are medically safe to drive and preventing truckers from “doctor shopping” to find a physician who might overlook risky health.

The Transportation Department said 5,300 people died in crashes involving large commercial trucks or buses in 2006 and about 126,000 were injured while truckers violating federal medical rules have been caught in every state.

A federal safety study last summer found that drivers falling asleep, suffering heart attacks or seizures or otherwise being physically impaired were a leading cause of serious crashes involving large trucks.

Scary.  Very Scary.

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