Truck drivers have one of the most dangerous jobs and may face a higher risk of work-related illness, accidents, and injuries, according to a new study from the University of Utah’s Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health. The study identified a number of lifestyle factors that can increase truck drivers’ risk of crashes:
1) Poor health monitoring.
Drivers who have elevated pulse pressure, high blood pressure, and other issues may have an increased risk of heart disease and truck accidents. However, since drivers are on the road so often monitoring issues such as blood pressure or talking to a doctor regularly may be a problem, potentially meaning serious health conditions are not monitored closely. The University of Utah found that 24% of the truck drivers they studied had high blood pressure but had not been diagnosed or were not receiving care for the condition.
Drivers may need to work night shifts or move back and forth between night shifts and day driving, disrupting their sleep patterns. In addition, drivers often face tight deadlines, which can contribute to stress. These scheduling issues can create health problems, including fatigued driving, sleep disturbances, and higher blood pressure brought on by stress.
3) Mobile device use.
By federal law, commercial truck drivers are banned from using mobile devices and texting while driving. However, some drivers do ignore this rule and this choice can increase their risk of a collision.
4) A sedentary lifestyle.
According to the University of Utah study, 62% of truck drivers in the study were obese, compared to the 35% of the general population who are considered obese. Obesity can contribute to heart disease and other conditions that are dangerous on the road.
Part of the problem for drivers may have to do with the fact that drivers spend considerable time sitting down behind the wheel, meaning they don’t get much activity or exercise. At the end of a drive, they may not have the energy for exercise. Exacerbating the problem are the food choices available to long-haul drivers. Quick, inexpensive meals may include snack foods and fast food meals, rather than home-cooked meals involving plenty of fruits, whole grains and vegetables.
Despite the lifestyle factors that can be dangerous for truck drivers, some drivers are fighting back by forming healthy lifestyle groups on social media and by actively pursuing healthier choices. These drivers are making healthier choices that keep everyone on the road a little safer.
If you have been in a car accident or truck accident in Hollywood or anywhere in South Florida, you can always contact Flaxman Law Group for a free case consultation. Find out what your rights are and discuss your situation with one of our compassionate and professional attorneys.