Many people would be horrified to have to share their medical conditions with the public. The reality is, however, that some professions are not compatible with certain medical problems. Truck drivers face medical restrictions because the consequences of a blackout or collapse while behind the wheel are simply too high. A recent crash involving a Maine truck driver might be the latest example of just how damaging an unmanaged medical condition can be.

Disqualifying medical conditions

Commercial truck drivers must be healthy enough to operate an 18-wheeler, as well as manage safety inspections and secure the vehicle’s load. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, certain health conditions make it impossible to meet these demands. Drivers are either disqualified from driving, or require a special exemption to drive if they suffer the following conditions:

  • Hearing loss
  • Vision loss
  • Epilepsy
  • Insulin-dependent diabetes 

The incident in Maine involved a driver who was disqualified from driving across state lines due to his status as an insulin-dependent diabetic. Unfortunately, the driver hid his diagnosis and changed doctors to gain medical clearance to drive. Federal investigators discovered this only after the man crashed his truck into a car during a traffic slowdown, killing two.

Truck driver negligence

By concealing his diagnosis, the truck driver may have committed a federal crime. Violations of safety laws are also a form of truck driver negligence. When drivers ignore the regulations, whether they be traffic laws or licensing requirements, the results can be catastrophic. Anyone injured in a trucking accident should contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.

Source: Portland Press Herald, “Trucker in fatal crash hid medical condition, a possible crime,” by Matt Byrne, 6 January 2017