Do Older Truck Drivers Pose an Accident Risk?

Older Truck Drivers

Written by Jeremy D. Earle, JD

May 22, 2021

Top Rated Denver Truck Accident Attorneys

According to NPR, the average age of a truck driver in the United States is 55 years. While senior drivers may be very experienced behind the wheel, aging-related health changes may impair their ability to drive safely, to the point that they represent a danger to other drivers on the road.

The National Institute on Aging observes that hearing and visual impairments may impair a driver’s ability to drive safely. Our response speed might also slow down as we age. Additionally, stiff joints and muscles might slow response time. Moreover, older drivers may be taking medication that affects their response time, awareness, and other critical driving aspects. Some drivers may be unaware that certain medications might impair their ability to drive a car.

Even more alarming, dementia might impair a person’s ability to drive safely. When dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is not identified, drivers may find themselves behind the wheel when they should not be.

Drivers suffering from dementia may be unaware of their cognitive impairment. Truck drivers may be especially vulnerable. Social isolation and long periods of time spent alone on the road might make diagnosis more challenging. Often, family and friends are the first to notice the mental changes associated with dementia.

Recent research examined the effect of dementia on a person’s ability to drive. Sensors were installed in the cars of senior drivers, and the scientists tracked the driver’s routes, abrupt stops, and journey duration.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, dementia is associated with shorter journeys, driving only during daylight hours, and avoiding driving in inclement weather.

While commercial truck drivers are expected to undergo routine medical examinations to verify their fitness to drive, drivers who rapidly decline or have sudden and significant health changes may be on the road for a while before any change is detected. What can the trucking sector do to ensure the safety of drivers and other road users?

Perhaps senior drivers should be required to undergo more frequent medical exams and disclose any new drugs they use. Additionally, older drivers should be counseled on measures to be safe, such as increasing the space between themselves and the car in front of them and limiting their shifts to daylight hours.

However, driving during daytime hours has additional concerns, such as greater road traffic. Additionally, the trucking business may use sensors similar to those used by participants in a recent dementia study, as reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. If trucking firms see a change in a driver’s conduct, they could request that the driver undergo a medical evaluation.

Age As a Contributing Factor In Semi-Truck Collisions

Truck drivers are becoming rarer, putting the trucking sector under severe hardship. Truck drivers are a critical component of the American infrastructure’s need for continuous transit of products throughout the nation. As a result of this shortfall, many trucking businesses have failed to adhere to high standards of caution with their drivers.

Trucking businesses may recruit young, inexperienced drivers who lack the necessary training or certification. Conversely, businesses may seek to rehire retired semi-truck drivers or just retain drivers who have reached an advanced age. While these senior drivers are not always in danger of semi-truck accidents, some have or acquire health problems that might pose complications while operating a tractor-trailer.

Claims For Semi-Truck Accidents Involving Senior Drivers

When it comes to employing truck drivers, there is no defined maximum age restriction. Colorado has a lower CDL certification age of 18 years, whereas many other states need a minimum age of 21, yet there is no upper age limit. Since you may drive a tractor-trailer as long as you pass the appropriate physical check, you could be driving when you’re 90.

Certain drivers recruited by trucking firms effortlessly slip through the cracks in the system and continue to work long after they would normally fail a medical inspection. Trucking businesses that recruit truckers who do not fulfill safety-related physical health criteria may be held accountable if the driver causes an accident. A person who has been harmed in a semi-truck accident may seek compensation for their losses by submitting a semi-truck accident claim. If they can establish that an older truck driver was irresponsible in causing an accident due to their health and that their trucking firm neglected to evaluate their physical fitness, they may establish that the accident was caused through negligence.

Make No Attempts To Resolve A Truck Accident Claim On Your Own

Those seeking compensation for a semi-truck accident suit will face considerable difficulty. To establish a defendant’s fault in a truck accident lawsuit, much study, investigation, and understanding of the legal proceedings are required.

Plaintiffs should avoid attempting to file a claim on their own and should consider retaining the services of a lawyer with expertise in truck accident lawsuits. Warrior a long track record of successfully resolving truck accident lawsuits for individuals who have sustained significant injuries. We provide free consultations and are delighted to discuss how we might help you as your legal counsel.

How Do Older Truck Drivers Contribute To The Risk Of Semi-Truck Accidents?

It’s a well-known fact that as we age and our bodies deteriorate, we become more prone to health problems and a range of diseases. It is reasonable to presume that the older a truck driver gets, the greater the likelihood that they may develop a health problem that would impair their driving skills and, as a result, cause a semi-truck accident.

Semi-truck drivers already live an unhealthy lifestyle. Sitting behind the wheel of a huge car all day with little chance to exercise or prepare nutritious meals results in a variety of health problems for many truck drivers. Thus, by the time they reach their later years, they have already done significant harm to their bodies.

Older truck drivers may be fine and completely capable of driving into their 60’s or even 70’s if they pass the requisite medical examination. Many people, however, enter this senior age with a variety of medical difficulties. Among the most prevalent are the following:

Cognitive illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia

Truck driving needs an unusual level of mental sharpness, which cognitive disorders may impair.

Joint discomfort and arthritis

Maneuvering requires pinpoint accuracy at times, and pain in the hands might result in errors that result in accidents.

Muscle weakness

Driving a truck all day may be physically demanding. Despite the long periods of sedentary employment behind the wheel, there are periods of physically demanding activity.

Loss of vision or hearing

The senses must be acute to detect approaching road dangers and prevent situations that are likely to result in an accident.

Conditions that might result in a stroke or heart attack while driving: In the worst-case scenario, a heart attack or stroke while driving results in the loss of control of an 80,000-pound semi-truck. It goes without stating that if this were to occur, many people could be harmed.

Consult A Reputable Semi-Truck Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident caused by a drunk driver, please call Warrior for a free consultation on your possible claim. Our attorneys will gladly meet with you to discuss the specifics of your claim. We can provide insight into your claim and discuss some potential legal avenues for pursuing compensation from those responsible for your injuries.

Jeremy D. Earle, JD and the rest of the Warrior Law team have been successfully managing truck accident cases for years. We provide each client the kind of care they would expect from a smaller firm while providing the resources and above-the-line results associated with a large legal practice.

Allow us to help you in obtaining reimbursement from the insurance company for your injuries. Even when not dealing with truck accident injuries, going up against these firms alone may be quite challenging.

Warrior will take on the insurance company and fight for the compensation you deserve. You may reach our Denver office by phone at 719-300-1100 or by email.

Manufacturers Of Trucks And Car Components

Just as technicians are accountable for maintaining the truck and trailer’s components, manufacturers are accountable for developing and selling high-quality parts. When an accident is caused by mechanical failure caused by faulty components, especially bad tires, the manufacturer may share blame for the accident.

When many parties share culpability for your accident, settling may take longer. Each insurance company may claim that another party contributed to the accident to lower the amount of compensation owed to you. The more circumstances that contributed to your accident, the longer it may take for an agreement to be reached.

What Are Your Alternatives In The Meantime?

When a semi-truck accident claim takes a long time to resolve, you may be tempted to accept a low settlement offer to get finances. Fortunately, there are various things you may do in the meantime to alleviate your financial load.

Inquire about your employer’s policies

Many businesses may provide you sick leave after an accident. Additionally, you may be eligible for short-term disability to help pay your expenses while you recuperate from your injuries. Consult your human resources department to determine the choices accessible to you after your accident.

Contact the billing department of the hospital

As medical costs accumulate, you may experience harassment from the many physicians and institutions involved in your treatment. Consult with each company’s billing department. You may plan to pay just what you can afford each month, or you can explain your financial position to the hospital and request a grace period before your medical costs become due.

Make contact with your creditors

After a semi-truck accident, your usual expenses do not vanish, and keeping up with those payments may seem more challenging than ever. Make contact with your creditors, particularly your home lender and the lender for your auto loan. In many circumstances, you may lower or renegotiate your payments while you wait for your settlement, particularly if your relationship with that specific provider is positive.

Inform your attorney of any financial concerns

Often, personal injury lawyers are aware of services that might assist you in maintaining a stable financial situation while you recuperate from your injuries.

But most importantly, if you have sustained significant injuries in a semi-truck accident, you should call a truck accident lawyer immediately. The sooner you retain the services of an attorney, the sooner that attorney may begin working on your behalf – and, in many situations, you will more quickly get the compensation you deserve.

Warrior Car Accident Lawyers

1902 W. Colorado Ave., Suite 100

Colorado Springs, CO 80904

719-300-1100

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