by Brian McKay
When was the last time you found yourself stuck in a traffic jam alongside a truck? If you live in a busy urban area, it’s fair to say that this might be a common – if not daily – occurrence. But not many drivers take the time to fully consider the difficulties and challenges that the man – or woman – in the truck is going through. Indeed, being a truck driver is hard work. If you thought that commuting to work every day in your car was tricky and stressful, you need to imagine what it’s like to be on the road for hours and days without end. Contrary to a road trip, where you are free of your movements and can stop whenever and wherever you feel like, a truck driver is set to a tight schedule. Their stops and rest breaks are closely monitored – they might even get into troubles if they take too much time to reach their destination! So, next time you find yourself next to a truck, remember that drivers suffer from stress and health issues:
Accidents are more likely to occur
Trucks are involved in almost 12% of all traffic accidents — meaning that your car is likely to be hit with a truck if you commute on a regular truck driving road. While you can claim compensation, it’s important to understand that at the core of the issue, the regulations imposed by the companies are responsible for the high stress and overworked schedule of truck drivers. With little time for sleep and rest, it’s not uncommon for drivers to be involved in horror crashes as a result of their extreme tiredness. Ultimately, when you have long days behind the steering wheels, and your driving schedule doesn’t allow for extended breaks, you might suffer from concentration issues in the long term.
You might struggle with depression
Truck drivers spend a lot of time on the road, and therefore very little time with their friends and family. With little to no social interaction to take the edge off the loneliness of the road, most drivers struggle with depression and anxiety disorder. Some resort to substance abuse as a way to take the edge off the worst, which might lead to DUI arrests and professional complications. No transport company would want to hire a driver who’s been found drunk behind the wheel. However, most companies refuse responsibility in the way their management practices might push their drivers to such extreme coping behaviors.
You’re likely to have health issues
Everybody knows that working in an office can lead to health issues. Indeed, the prolonged sitting position is likely to encourage diabetes, heart diseases and weight gain. But while, in an office, you can stand up regularly for a brisk walk, there is no possibility for truck drivers to reduce the impact on their body. When you drive a truck, you stay 10, 12 hours or more in the same position, with only occasional breaks when you need to get some fuel or eat.
The bottom line is that truck drivers suffer from an unfairly bad reputation. They have a difficult job that can affect their mental and physical health. It’s fair to say that if companies invested more in their drivers’ health, there would be significantly less truck-related accidents.