Health Behavior and Accident Risk: Obesity is Associated with the Future Risk of Heavy Truck Crashes Among Newly Recruited Commercial Drivers

21 Pages Posted: 17 Mar 2012

See all articles by Jon Anderson

Jon Anderson

University of Minnesota - Morris

Manjari Govada

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Tricia K. Steffen

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Chris Thorne

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Vasileia Varvarigou

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Stefanos Kales

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Stephen V. Burks

University of Minnesota, Morris - Division of Social Science; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Center for Decision Research and Experimental Economics (CeDEx); Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota

Abstract

This study estimates the dose-response relationship between Body Mass Index (BMI) and crash risk in commercial motor vehicle operators. Intake data was collected on 744 new truck drivers who were training for their commercial driver's licenses at a school operated by the cooperating trucking firm during the first two-week phase of instruction. Drivers were then followed prospectively on the job using the firm's operational data for two years, or until employment separation, whichever came first. Multivariate Poisson regression and Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate the relationship between crash risk and BMI, controlling for exposure using miles driven, trip segments, and job type. Results from the Poisson regression indicated that the risk ratio (RR) for all crashes was significantly higher for drivers in the obesity Class II and Class III categories: RR= 1.6, confidence interval 1.2-2.1 and RR= 1.49, confidence interval 1.12-1.99, respectively. Similarly, the multivariate Cox Proportional Hazard model results showed that crash risk was significantly higher for obesity class II (BMI 35 to <40; relative risk (RR) = 1.47, P = 0.02) with weaker evidence of increased crash risk for obesity class III (BMI >40; RR = 1.35, P =0.06) when compared to normal BMI (BMI 18.5 to <25). The results of this prospective study establish an association between obesity and crash risk show that driver health behavior has important spillovers for public safety.

Keywords: body mass index, obesity, traffic accidents, commercial motor vehicle, heavy truck, Poisson regression, Cox proportional hazard, truckload, health behavior

JEL Classification: I12, J49, R41

Suggested Citation

Anderson, Jon and Govada, Manjari and Steffen, Tricia K. and Thorne, Chris and Varvarigou, Vasileia and Kales, Stefanos and Burks, Stephen V., Health Behavior and Accident Risk: Obesity is Associated with the Future Risk of Heavy Truck Crashes Among Newly Recruited Commercial Drivers. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6408. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2025324

Jon Anderson

University of Minnesota - Morris

109 Camden Hall
Morris, MN 56267
United States

Manjari Govada

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Tricia K. Steffen

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Chris Thorne

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Vasileia Varvarigou

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Stefanos Kales

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Stephen V. Burks

University of Minnesota, Morris - Division of Social Science ( email )

600 East 4th St.
Morris, MN 56267
United States
320-589-6191 (Phone)
320-589-6117 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.morris.umn.edu/academics/truckingproject/

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org/en/webcontent/personnel/photos/index_html?key=1883

Center for Decision Research and Experimental Economics (CeDEx) ( email )

University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/cedex/people/external/index.aspx

Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota ( email )

200 Transportation & Safety Bldg.
511 Washington Ave. SE
Minneapolis, MN
United States
612-626-1077 (Phone)
612-625-6381 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.cts.umn.edu/

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