Obese truck drivers have higher crash risk: study

November 14, 2012

Morris, MN – Obese commercial motor vehicle drivers may have a higher risk of crashing than normal-weight truck drivers, according to a new study from the University of Minnesota.

Researchers studied the body mass index of 744 truck drivers and found those with a BMI of 35 or greater had a 43-55 percent higher risk of crashing. BMI is determined from a person’s height and weight, with 18.5 to 25.0 considered “normal” weight and 30.0 or above considered “obese.”

Researchers suggested that conditions related to obesity such as fatigue, excessive daytime sleepiness and mobility limitations account for the increased crash risk. Higher BMI rates have been linked to obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that affects a person’s ability to have restful sleep and has been linked to excessive daytime sleepiness among truck drivers.

Researchers recommended further studies on truck driver BMIs and crash rates.

The study was published in November in the journal Accident Analysis & Prevention.