Are Older Truck Drivers a Risk?

Date: November 07, 2016

Millions of new products and materials are sold in the United States every day and commercial truck drivers are tasked with transporting these goods from the manufacturers and warehouses to the shelves or to your door. As the need for commercial truck drivers continually increases, reports indicate1 that the trucking industry is experiencing a significant shortage of drivers. This shortage has left trucking companies scrambling to find a solution and fulfill the delivery orders they receive.

One reported common solution has been to recruit older, retired individuals to return to work as a driver. By driving a truck, retirees can see the country while earning extra money to supplement any retirement savings they may or may not have. Data shows an increasing number of drivers over the age of 65 and even into their 90’s. While this may help the trucking industry, it also can cause additional dangers on the highway for other motorists.

Health Conditions may Affect Older Drivers

Some people are able to remain mentally and physically healthy enough to continue driving a vehicle safely their entire lives. However, many aging drivers must undergo additional driving tests or medical exams to keep their license and some may have their license renewal denied. This is generally for good reason, as many health conditions can develop with age that can hinder a person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. Such conditions include:

  • Cognitive disorders, including Alzheimer’s and dementia
  • Joint pain and arthritis
  • Weakness in the muscles
  • Loss of vision or hearing
  • Conditions that could lead to a stroke or heart attack

In addition to developing medical conditions, older individuals may generally have slower reflexes and response times to emergency situations. All of the above can be catastrophic when facing emergency conditions in a large commercial truck.

Commercial trucks are much more challenging to operate than cars, and they can require more strength and awareness. Trucking companies should not only ensure that all drivers meet the medical criteria required by the FMCSA2, but also that they are otherwise fit and focused enough to operate semi-trucks.

Call an Arizona Truck Accident Lawyer Today

If you have been injured in or around Phoenix by an older truck driver (or any other type of truck driver), please do not delay in discussing your situation with the law firm of Abels & Annes, P.C. We successfully handle complex truck cases, so contact us today at 602-819-5191.

1 http://www.cbsnews.com/news/trucking-semi-industry-recruiting-retirees-commercial-drivers-accidents/

2 https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/medical/driver-medical-requirements/driver-medical-fitness-duty

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