Driving injured increases risk of trucking accidents

Feb 13 2017

Trucking is one of the most dangerous jobs in America. From severe weather conditions to careless passenger car drivers on the road, truckers often face unpredictable hazards during the daily drive. Not only are truckers more likely to be injured on the job, but their overall health is often worse than the average worker.

Although the causes of injuries and ailments often feel like “just part of the job,” truck drivers can take action to improve their health and safety on the road. A national survey in 2014 found that 88 percent of truck drivers suffered from at least one of the following fatal health risk factor including:

· High blood pressure

· High cholesterol

· Obesity

· Smoking

· Physical inactivity

· Sleep deprivation

In fact, truckers often had their own unique “constellation” or pattern of health risk problems compared other industries. Trucking plays a vital role in the country’s economy, but drivers shouldn’t feel pressured to keep going due to illness or injury.

Resources are available to drivers who suffer from poor health or injuries due to their job duties. Nine out of 10 drivers face a fatal health risk factor. What happens when a driver experiences additional symptoms or is injured again? A recent study by the University of Utah found that three or more medical conditions could quadruple a driver’s chances of a crash.

Health is sometimes a risk factor, but help is always available

Not every health risk factor leads to poor driving performance, but some can. One-third of all drivers had a health risk related to poor performance including heart disease, low back pain and diabetes. It is not difficult to see how an existing injury could make another one worse.

Pain and discomfort are common for drivers who sit for long hours behind the wheel. At a stop, you experience back pain after helping unload the truck. Physical inactivity doesn’t solve the back pain and instead creates a distraction on the road, and inadvertently increases the risk of injuries to other drivers. How can we put that in reverse?

Regular and thorough health checkups are necessary for truck drivers. If a health risk is caused by your duties as a truck driver, you may be able to seek help for injuries and ailments through workers’ compensation. Although the process is not easy, a trusted attorney can empower drivers to make their health a priority.

Trucking is a dangerous job, but drivers shouldn’t let hazards on the road become a danger to their health.