Truck accidents are caused by many factors, including brake failure, speeding, and other issues. One issue which often gets ignored when talking about truck accidents, however, is health. The health and medical condition of passenger car drivers and truck drivers can have a big impact on the rate of traffic accidents in Homestead and other South Florida communities.
Several health concerns can affect safe driving on our streets, including:
- Heart conditions. High cholesterol and high blood pressure are sometimes referred to as silent killers, in part because they may have few symptoms. However, someone suffering from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or certain heart conditions can be more susceptible to strokes, heart attacks, and other cardiac or neurological events. If these emergencies occur on the road, the driver may lose control of their car and may cause a car accident, truck accident, or even a multiple vehicle chain reaction accident.
- Dementia. Dementia is often associated with seniors, but early onset dementia and Alzheimer’s are a real concern. When someone starts losing memory or cognitive function, they may be unable to safely operate a motor vehicle. Unfortunately, it may not be immediately apparent to a patient that their cognitive ability is impacted and they may continue to drive, not realizing the danger. Often, it is up to doctors, friends, and family to take steps to keep dangerous drivers from the roads.
- Eye conditions. Eye conditions can be another subtly-changing situation which drivers may not notice. Drivers who cannot see clearly enough to notice traffic signs or obstructions can cause severe accidents, but in some cases changes in vision are so gradual motorists may not notice a problem until they get into a crash or start experiencing near-misses. It is important for all drivers to get regular checkups of their eyes. Truck drivers are required to get physical testing regularly, but it is up to passenger car drivers to make sure they take care of their health so they are safe on the roads.
- Sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a serious condition which causes a patient to wake multiple times during the night as their breathing is interrupted. People with sleep apnea may not notice that they haven’t been sleeping well and symptoms such as fatigue during the day can be brushed off as regular stress. Unfortunately, if left untreated sleep apnea can be very dangerous and can lead to traffic accidents. Sufferers may fall asleep at the wheel or may have so little sleep that they suffer impairment of motor function or cognitive ability due to their excessive fatigue. Any driver who feels tired during the day should visit their doctor to get checked for sleep apnea and other disorders.
- Diseases related to addictions. Today, we recognize that addiction is a disease. Unfortunately, when addictions to alcohol or certain drugs are not treated they can leave motorists vulnerable to car accidents. Any driver using alcohol or other controlled substances while driving put themselves and other road users at risk.
If you have been injured by a driver who was negligent with their health or negligent behind the wheel, you may have a claim. To find out, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation to review your case with a member of our team in Hollywood, Homestead, or Miami.