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Articles Tagged with medical certification

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Truck Accident LawyersI recently read a law firm article indicating nearly half of truck drivers are prone to sleep apnea. That article reaches this conclusion based on a Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study using the STOP-BANG method of screening truck drivers. The Virginia Tech researchers interviewed 20,000 commercial drivers. So, the study has a broad base for reliability. The data is very interesting.

While the law firm’s article cites the study, it really only lists the scary statistics. Yes, it is scary to think up to half of the truck drivers around you may be sleep deprived. The article does a good job of scaring the reader into calling the law firm. Why not talk about potential solutions? The law firm’s article tells us the problem but offers no discussion into solutions. Of course, that’s like most law firm websites — short on real discussion. If it’s a problem (and it is), then the real discussion should surround potential solutions that make our highways safer. With that in mind, I’ll briefly discuss the study. Then, I’m going to talk about two areas where I think we can improve highway safety and trucker health.

What Does The Virginia Tech Research Tell Us?

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Accident & Injury LawyersPersonal injury attorney Ken Shigley recently wrote about “chameleon” trucking companies. What is a chameleon trucking company? It is an unsafe trucking company that changes its name or re-registers to avoid liability or problems with its safety rating. The owners, equipment, drivers, and even address, usually stay the same. While the name on the truck may be new, the same reckless people are endangering our families on the highway!

Ken’s post reminded me of a recent truck driver deposition. In my case, a lady suffered life-altering, disabling injuries on an Alabama highway. At the crash scene, the truck driver refused to exit his truck and help the victim who was bleeding and barely alive. The lady survived only because a good samaritan stopped and helped until emergency responders could arrive. Although refusing to help, the trucker made numerous calls on his cell phone. In one call, he summoned the trucking company’s “rapid response” team to the scene. Did the rapid response team rush to the scene to help? NO! The rapid response team rushed to the scene to protect the company from liability.

In deposition, the trucker admitted crashing his truck on several earlier occasions. Each time, the crash was his fault. In one, he rear-ended another driver on the Interstate. In another, he hit a loading dock and seriously damaged a factory. In a third, he continued to drive in dangerous icy conditions. He crashed and knocked out local utilities to a community. That’s not all. In prior years, medical examiners had cautioned the company about allowing him to drive due to serious health issues. When I asked in deposition if he believed in following basic driver safety rules, he refused to say yes. Instead, he responded to questions asking whether he must follow safety rules by saying, “theoretically” and “in a perfect world.” The safety of our families on the roadway was not important to this driver. Did the trucking company remove this driver from our highways, even temporarily, after any of these past events? No. Did the trucking company retrain or reprimand the driver after any of these past events? No. The trucking company simply put him back on our highways with instructions to deliver the merchandise on time.

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