The trucking industry remains one of the most lucrative and competitive businesses for our generation today as evidenced by the large volume of trucks for sale being advertised daily. But behind this business is an underlying danger that threatens majority of our truck drivers today. In the US alone, a recorded 500,000 truck accidents resulting in an estimated 5,000 deaths occur each year. With these grim statistics, it is no wonder that truck driving is now considered to be one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.
Life on the road is no laughing matter, whether you are operating a big rig, a tractor truck or used trailers, the fact remains that this particular jobs poses one of the most difficult and perilous work environment at present. With the long and seemingly endless shifts on the road, the heavy lifting, hauling and bending, drivers face a constant stream of conditions that may cause a number of severe health problems.
Attributed to their heavy work and long and immobile hours on the road, fatigue and back pains are two of the foremost complaints from being employed in this job. Staying at a stationary sitting position for extended hours can injure the back, spine and the neck. Statistics show that 20% of truck collisions are brought about by tired and overworked drivers.
Truck drivers usually operate on different shifts and are oftentimes compelled to spend the night on board their trucks which do not facilitate for a healthy sleeping habit. As a result, most truck drivers face the nagging problem of sleeplessness which is very hazardous and can result in accidents. Another health issue that they face under these conditions is experiencing apnea; a condition characterized by irregularities in breathing during one’s sleeping.
Having excellent vision is pertinent to anyone who works as a truck driver, but unfortunately driving on dark and dusty roads can greatly strain the eyes and may lead to poor vision and other eyesight impairments.
One of the rising health concerns for truck drivers is that of obesity. As a truck driver needs to fight off sleep, they tend to stuff themselves with takeout foods that are usually greasy and fatty and as their jobs are greatly confined to their seat, these calories seep into the driver’s belly which leads to hypertension and heart conditions.
Though it is primarily the driver’s responsibility to look after his own health, their particular work conditions make it difficult to do so, providing them with the means to regularly be screened by a health care specialist is essential. As our economy relies on these truck drivers to deliver the needed goods and commodities to the people, it is also important to look into their health and medical conditions.