Road Traffic Safety: The Driver Next to You


While traveling in traffic, many thoughts run through a driver’s mind. What if a car hits me? What if I hit another person? Am I going to be late? Should I be speeding this much? While we may consider our own well-being, we are not necessarily thinking about the driver next to us. In basic driver’s education courses, instructors always enforce the rule “do not drive when you are mad, upset, anxious, etc.” Driving while experiencing severe emotions can be dangerous to not only you, but the drivers around you as well. If it is so important to avoid vehicle operation while feeling emotional, how can it be safe to drive when you are facing medical conditions?

According to the University of Utah School of Medicine, “commercial truck drivers with three or more medical conditions double to quadruple their chance for being in a crash than healthier drivers” (ScienceDaily). Truck drivers often times spend hours on the road, do not get a proper amount of sleep and are not physically comfortable while sleeping, and do not eat nutritiously while on the road. “Now, examination of medical records from 49,464 commercial truck drivers finds evidence that their relatively poor health may put them at risk in more ways than one. 34 percent have signs of at least one of several medical conditions that had previously been linked to poor driving performance, from heart disease, to low back pain, to diabetes” (ScienceDaily). After reading the study performed by the University of Utah’s School of Medicine, it is extremely important to be aware of your own health, but also vital to take in consideration the health of the drivers around you.

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