Sick Truckers Cause Deadly Crashes

By July 23, 2008Highway Safety

When a driver behind the wheel of an 80,000-pound truck blacks out, goes into a diabetic altered state of consciousness, suffers a seizure or experiences a heart attack, the consequences are deadly. Unfortunately, far too many sick bus and truck drivers are on the road every day, placing innocent motorists in harm’s way.
According to a study released last week by the Government Accountability Office titled, “Commercial Drivers: Certification Process for Drivers with Serious Medical Conditions,” more than half-a-million people with commercial drivers licenses also qualified for federal disability benefits. At least 1,000 drivers were diagnosed with vision, hearing or seizure disorders that should have disqualified them from a commercial license.
As the Associated Press points out in “Deadly Tolls: Sick truckers causing fatal wrecks,” the problem was identified by U.S. safety regulators as far back as 2001. However, a proposal that would have set minimum standards for determining whether truck drivers are medically safe has not been implemented.
The cost in terms of lives lost is sobering, as the families of four women who were killed on Interstate 70 near Columbia, Mo., know all too well.
In June 2006, trucker George Albright Jr. crashed his tractor-trailer into a Ford sedan and killed the four women inside. He was charged with four counts of second-degree involuntary manslaughter. Last month, jurors acquitted the driver of all of the criminal charges after Albright’s lawyers argued that a diabetic episode “put him in an altered state of consciousness.”
If you have been hurt or a loved one has been hurt or died as a result of a truck driver’s carelessness, contact Carey, Danis & Lowe Missouri/Illinois trucking-accident lawyers online or by calling 877-678-3400.