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A trucker’s smoking habit may put you at risk

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2021 | Trucking Accidents |

Leaders of trucking companies have an obligation to ensure their commercial drivers are healthy enough to drive safely. After all, poor health may cause a truck driver to lose control of his or her vehicle. Because semitrucks weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, a collision with an out-of-control one may leave you with serious injuries. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that truck drivers are twice as likely to smoke cigarettes than the average American. Here are some ways a trucker’s smoking habit may put you at risk. 

Distracted driving

To minimize their chances of causing a serious accident, truck drivers should avoid all types of distracted driving. Reaching for a pack of cigarettes or lighting one may take a truck driver’s brain and hands away from the driving task. Unfortunately, even a short smoking-related distraction may prove disastrous. 

Drowsy driving

Drowsy driving may be as dangerous as both drunk and distracted driving in a couple ways. First, smoking may interfere with a truck driver’s quality of sleep, causing him or her to be too drowsy to drive safely. Likewise, if a trucker uses nicotine to stay awake on long trips, he or she simply may not be alert enough to avoid a collision. 

Health complications

By now, virtually everyone recognizes the many health consequences of smoking cigarettes. If a truck driver is a smoker, he or she may develop any of the following medical conditions: 

  • Emphysema 
  • Cancer 
  • Heart disease 
  • Stroke 

Each of these ailments may interfere with a trucker’s ability to operate a commercial vehicle. Put bluntly, if a truck driver does not monitor his or her overall health, a medical emergency on the highway may put your life and the lives of your passengers in grave danger.