Roughly, 1 of every 15 people in America, earns an income through truck driving. Statistics show that over 7 million drivers are on the road. We should all remain grateful to the truck driver ensuring our economies run smoothly. Like with every craft, come some pitfalls. As much as it is fun to get behind the wheel, prolonged truck driving can take a toll on a driver’s health. Truck drivers are tempted, while en route, like inviting signs of fast foods restaurants popping up all over. Below is a list of common truck driver health issues.
Well, it would not be truck driving without lifting and loading. It’s an all hands on deck type of job, as drivers help to load heavy products unto the trucks. Drivers are prone to injuries and tearing of muscles, consequently straining their health. Wrong sitting positions lead to pain in the neck and back, as drivers are exhausted in supporting the body. The popular blog freeyourspine.info shows how poor posture and more factors increase the likelihood of a truck driver suffering from back injury.
The lack of proper nutrition and fitness is the leading cause of obesity. Statistics show that 50% of truck drivers in the USA are obese and an estimated 73% are overweight. Since truck driving involves long distances and long hours, drivers are deprived of sleep and healthy meals. Most of these drivers go for fast foods such as fries and burgers, as nothing beats the rush than high cholesterol meals. Heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, and other diseases are some of the more health concerns attributed to obesity.
Smoking is a form of relaxation that even truck drivers cannot help but indulge in. Truck drivers who engage in frequent smoking can contract lung cancer. In addition, diesel fumes and poisonous chemicals contribute to lung cancer when inhaled.
Sleep alongside delicious fasts foods is the greatest enemy of progress to truck drivers. This condition endangers the truck driver’s lives as breathing occasionally reduces when they are asleep. High blood pressure, smoking, and obesity are some health concerns that can cause sleep apnea.
Truck drivers expose their upper body especially the face and arms to unfiltered sunrays causing skin cancer. Some trucks are not equipped to prevent excessive sunrays from reaching the bare skin.
Fatigue is the leading cause of highway accidents as drivers sometimes drift to sleep while on the wheel. In a hurry to meet deadline delivery, drivers ignore traffic signs and end up causing accidents as well as the destruction of properties.
Use of Stimulants
Instead of the usual coffee cup to stay awake, drivers have now advanced to using stimulants as a means to stay alert on the roads. Truck drivers have two objectives. One is to meet the required deadline of delivery, and the obvious one is to keep the truck in good condition. So sleeping becomes a hindrance and thus results to use of illegal drugs. These drugs usually impair the driver’s judgment and focus thus causing fatal accidents. Use of these stimulants does not hide the fact that you are sleep deprived and fatigue. These drugs also cause health problems to the drivers by causing high blood pressure and weakening the immune system
Stress, depression, and loneliness
Truck drivers tend to experience stress in their line work. In their day-to-day routines, mundane tasks are bound to take a wrong turn. A driver can fail to meet the deadline for delivery due to a heated engine or a busted tire, thus affecting the driver’s consciousness. Such problems will affect the driver mentally. Many things such as sleep deprivation as well as loneliness can cause stress. It is no secret that, it can be lonely on the road. Truck drivers are sometimes, set out without a co-driver. Stress is often overlooked. Nonetheless, it is a serious condition, which can even cause loss of life. A driver needs to communicate with other people to avoid loneliness. Stress eating can contribute to obesity as one goes for unhealthy junk foods. Drivers also start experiencing heart problems due to stress and depression. They often fall into despair, leading to unhealthy activities such as bad eating habits.