Truck driver health risks and related issues
Truck drivers can be put under a lot of pressure while on the job, causing health risks.
The demand for speed and efficiency to get freight from one location to another can be quite high. As a result, they can push their bodies to the limit and compromise their own health. It can be tough taking care of yourself when you’re constantly on the road, but it’s important to at least try. Here are four common health risks truck drivers need to keep an eye on:
1. Sleep deprivation
Depending on the job, truck drivers often only get a fraction of the recommended eight hours of sleep every day. This can impact a driver’s health and public safety as well. Sleep deprivation can lead to accidents, which isn’t good for anybody. A drowsy driver has a slower reaction time. It can put others in danger while risking damage to your cargo. Truckers may try to compensate with extra caffeine intake, but this has its own set of problems. The effects of caffeine can fade quickly and also make it difficult to fall asleep when the opportunity arises. Finding a secure place to get a few hours of shut-eye while on the road can do a world of good.
Studies have shown that about 90% of truck drivers are overweight. This is twice the rate of other occupations in the U.S. Often truckers don’t eat three hot meals a day and consume a number of snack foods throughout their journey. Due to the nature of the job, it’s difficult to schedule exercise or establish good eating habits. It may take extra effort, but it’s in a driver’s best interest to do what they can to combat this problem. Obesity can lead to many health issues and is the top cause of heart disease.
3. Health care access
Due to being on the road nearly every day, it’s extremely difficult for truck drivers to make a doctor’s appointment. Options are limited when health issues crop up, which may lead drivers to ignore symptoms. This only furthers the problem. Do your best to seek professional medical help if warranted.
4. Road accidents
Truck drivers are among the most experienced drivers on the road, but driving so often means you’re more likely to be in an accident at some point. The longer you’re out on the road, there’s a higher risk something might go wrong, or you finally come across a situation where an accident can’t be prevented. Accidents on the road can result in severe injury and even be fatal.
Take care of yourself
Staying in good shape is a difficult task for a truck driver, but it’s well worth it if you’re able. Health problems can affect job performance and add stress to family life. It’s incumbent upon you to get as much sleep as you can, eat healthily and get some exercise. Don’t forget to see the doc every once in a while. You’ll be able to live a long and happy life.