Diabetes is a serious disease that can eventually affect a person’s ability to drive. Earlier this year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) exempted over 70 truck drivers who managed their condition with insulin. The truckers will have an exemption for about two years. Usually, interstate truck drivers need to get special permission or may even be banned from driving if they have diabetes. To drive, truck drivers must prove that they have their condition under control or no longer need insulin for their condition.
The Danger on the Road
According to FMCSA and other experts, the problem with diabetes is that it can eventually cause vision problems – a serious danger on the road – or can cause patients to lose the sense of touch in their hands and feet. Some patients living with diabetes eventually develop hypertension or cardiac disease, putting them at risk for heart attacks. These can be serious concerns for drivers.
Another potential safety issue with the condition is management. Patients living with diabetes need to monitor their blood sugar, make lifestyle changes, and take medication or treatment regularly. Until the condition is under control, they may also need to work with doctors. Truck drivers, with their mobility, may have a hard time getting to the doctor and taking time to manage their condition – especially with deliveries to make on tight deadlines. In addition, life on the road can mean irregular sleep and eating schedules as well as many hours of sedentary work – all things that can make managing diabetes harder.
Drivers at Risk?
In fact, truck driving may make truck drivers vulnerable to type II diabetes. According to some studies, truck drivers have a 50% higher incidence rate of diabetes when compared with the rest of the US population. Part of the trouble may be the nature of the work. Stressful deadlines, long hours of sitting, and often fast food eaten on the run can lead to obesity and to type II diabetes.
If you are a truck driver or motorist injured in a traffic accident, contact Flaxman Law Group at any time to schedule a free consultation. Flaxman Law Group is a full-service law firm with offices in Homestead, Hollywood, and Miami. We are proud to serve the South Florida community and are honored to work with plaintiffs across the region. Your first consultation with us is always free and comes with no obligation, so if you have any concerns about your traffic collision, contact us. Our compassionate staff is always standing by to discuss your concerns.