As a society, we are becoming more aware of mental illness and the need to help those who suffer from it. However, even though we are making progress in reducing the stigma surrounding this condition, it remains an invisible problem, in many cases. And truck drivers may be especially prone to mental illness because of their jobs.
Trucking is stressful, requiring long hours on the road and adherence to tight deadlines. Isolation while driving can exacerbate symptoms or can cause difficulties, all while creating a situation where drivers may struggle to form closer support networks. In addition, the near-misses on the road coupled with challenges in eating healthfully and getting exercise can mean issues such as depression can impact truck drivers disproportionately.
According to a 2012 FMCS (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), one third of American truck drivers will be involved in a collision during their lifetime. This, too, can cause trauma and depression.
Is There an Impact on Truck Accidents?
More studies need to be done on truck accidents and the link to mental illness. A number of studies regarding mental illness and the link with car accidents have been done. These studies have shown that some mental illnesses, specifically personality and psychoneurotic disorders, are linked with higher auto accident rates. Psychiatric patients have a higher rate of collisions per mile driven.
There are many types of mental illness, and some may not have any impact on driving while others may put truck drivers—and those around them on the roads at risk.
Many types of mental illness do pose a risk because they can disrupt sleeping patterns, which can lead to fatigued driving and collisions in Hollywood and other communities. In addition, some conditions can affect concentration and ability to focus. Some mental illness, however, might not have an impact on driving ability, although it may still negatively impact quality of life of drivers.
What Can We Do?
Already, some truck companies and drivers are taking steps to create healthier and safer environments for drivers. Some drivers are using modern technology to stay linked to others and to create a support network. However, screening is still difficult and drivers do not always get the support they need.
If you have been injured in a truck accident in South Florida, you deserve answers and compensation. If you have been injured, contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) or online for a free consultation to discuss your claim. With offices in Hollywood, Homestead, and Miami, we serve the entire South Florida area.