If you’ve been in a truck accident in Canton, Van Zandt, Mt. Pleasant, Jefferson, Paris, or Marshall, Texas, you may be wondering what factors caused your accident. If a truck driver or truck company’s neglect or negligence resulted in your crash, you may be entitled to seek damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Certain types of medical conditions are known to put drivers at greater risk of crashes. While psychiatric conditions or certain mental health issues are not often the first thing one might consider when thinking about truck accident risk factors, in fact, some mental health conditions can impact a person’s ability to drive.
For example, in one study, bus and truck drivers were asked to complete a personality survey. After risk factors for certain mental health conditions were identified, the drivers’ crash data was studied. The researchers found that drivers who had depression or anxiety were more likely to be in accidents. In another study published by the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, it was found that some psychiatric conditions and certain psychiatric drugs could impact a person’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. In fact, as many as 79% of the patients studied failed driving tests. Unfortunately, truck drivers who take certain types of medication may not inform their employers that they are taking this medication. Other drivers may continue to drive even after taking some types of psychiatric medication that can impact driving ability. And yet other drivers may suffer from psychiatric conditions, but may not seek medical attention or care at all. This can be the worst situation because some of these conditions can impact sleep, can impact alertness, and can put a driver at risk of other conditions.
Could a truck driver’s psychiatric condition have contributed to your crash? It depends. Not all individuals suffering from a psychiatric condition will go on to have higher crash risk factors. However, some psychiatric conditions could put drivers at risk of other issues like substance abuse disorder or sleep problems. A combination of factors could make a driver more at risk.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a truck accident in Texas, there may be many reasons why the accident took place. The Cooper Law Firm are truck accident attorneys in Texas who can review the circumstances of your crash and help you take steps to protect yourself. If a driver’s negligence, neglect, or physical health was compromised, you may be entitled to seek damages from the driver or the truck company. Truck companies have a responsibility to ensure that drivers meet all medical requirements and update their medical information frequently. When companies and drivers fail to take responsibility for their health or for their actions behind the wheel, accidents can happen.
Could Truck Drivers Be More at Risk of PTSD and Other Mental Health Conditions?
More studies need to be performed on whether certain mental health conditions impact driving ability. However, research has shown that truck drivers’ lifestyles could put them more at risk of certain types of mental health conditions. For example, according to the Atlantic, one-third of truck drivers might find themselves behind the wheel in a crash. Crashes can result in trauma, and these drivers might be at risk of going on to develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Witnessing serious accidents can also put drivers at risk of developing PTSD.
Truck drivers also spend long periods behind the wheel, and may be asked to drive for long hours. This can put drivers at risk of sleep disorders, depression, and anxiety related to social isolation. The driving lifestyle may also put some drivers at risk of substance abuse. The Atlantic also reports that drivers who do find themselves suffering from mental health issues like sleep problems, PTSD, depression, anxiety, or substance abuse disorders may not always get the help they need. Truck driver’s schedules can be incredibly demanding, and can make it difficult for truck drivers to make the medical appointments they might need to get a diagnosis and treatment.
To make matters worse, trucking is an isolating job. Social connection has been known to help people cope with conditions like anxiety, depression, substance abuse disorder, and other serious conditions. However, for drivers spending long periods on the road, social connection may not be readily available.
Truck companies can do quite a bit to make the situation better. By prioritizing drivers’ health, truck companies can ensure that drivers are not only fit behind the wheel, but are less likely to develop mental health conditions that could impact their ability to drive in the future. Truck companies can also put resources into educating drivers about risk factors for depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorder and help drivers get help when they need it.
If you or a loved one was hurt in a truck accident, the Cooper Law Firm are truck accident lawyers who may be able to help you. When the trucking industry is held accountable, change happens. Contact our firm today to learn more about how you may be able to seek justice for your family.
Seek Justice and Change the Trucking Industry
The Cooper Law Firm are truck accident attorneys in Canton, Van Zandt, Mt. Pleasant, Jefferson, Paris, and Marshall, Texas who may be able to assist you with seeking damages for your losses after a truck accident. Truck drivers work hard, but they are also sometimes put under immense pressure by the companies for which they work. When truck drivers face pressure, and don’t get the support they need, they can develop mental health conditions that can impact their ability to drive. The trucking industry has a responsibility to protect the health of drivers and to address potential mental health conditions that can impact truck drivers’ ability to drive. When families seek damages from truck companies for their losses, they hold truck companies accountable for their actions. The Cooper Law Firm are truck accident lawyers in Texas who may be able to fight for your rights.