Long-haul truck driving, where truckers often drive thousands of miles per week, can be boring. To pass the time, drivers may engage in unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking cigarettes. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes long-haul truckers are two times more likely to smoke than others.
Even if you have a sensitivity to cigarette smoke, a trucker’s smoking habit is not likely to bother you physically. After all, if drivers smoke inside their vehicles, you may not even notice. Nevertheless, truckers who smoke cigarettes may be an accident risk.
Thanks to awareness campaigns over the past decade, virtually everyone should realize the dangers of distracted driving. Driver distractions, though, include more than using a smartphone behind the wheel. If truckers reach for packs of cigarettes or fiddle with lighters, they may divert their attention long enough to cause a serious collision.
While professional truck drivers should undergo regular health screenings, smokers may develop chronic or acute illnesses that make them unsafe. For example, truckers who smoke cigarettes may be increasingly vulnerable to heart disease, cancer, stroke, hypertension and even diabetes.
Fatigued driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Regrettably, truckers may use cigarettes to remain alert in their cabs. Nicotine, however, may only mask the symptoms of driver fatigue. Put simply, if drivers are not alert enough to remain safe, they should rest instead of smoking cigarettes.
Even though you may not have to deal with the smell of a trucker’s cigarette smoke, your life may be in danger because of a driver’s smoking habit. Ultimately, if you suffer a catastrophic injury in a crash, it may be advisable to investigate whether the driver’s use of cigarettes contributed to the accident.