Truck Driver's Health on the Road


As with others jobs, being a truck driver implies several risks. Although the obvious risk is the danger of driving such a big machine on the highways.  But most drivers don't think about their health.


According to a recent report of the National Library of Medicine, a group of Japanese medicine researchers made a survey among 541 truck drivers in a port in 1997 about their health conditions. They found in the drivers symptoms like ringing ears, neck pain and low back pain and they found illness like ulcers in the digestive tract, hypertension, back injuries and hemorrhoids.


For each health problem their must be a cause. The medical researchers found that the truck driver must work in irregular shifts, in the same work posture and handle heavy freights; all that with too much stress piled on top. Also, the driversÂâ€Ã¢„¢ physical conditions were affected by the smoking habits, sleeping in the truck, the vibrations, too many hours, and not enough rest.


Indeed, this is the big deal for the truckers, the companies and finally, the victims of an accident. In the United States, 20% of truck crashes are caused by a sleepy truck driver. The fatigue of the drivers is becoming not only a health problem but a social and political issue.


But for the drivers, the problems go beyond the accident risks. According with the Health Day News, a study made to Australian truckers found a lot of cases of sleep disordered breathing and apnea.


The sleep disordered breathing (found it in 60% of those drivers) and the apnea consist in about five temporary breathing pauses each hour on the sleeping time.


The backache has the second place in the common health problems of the truck drivers. The causes and consequences are still being discussed by the experts. The work posture, the long time in the same posture, the vibration of the tractor during the day are some of the clues until now.


The University of Kentucky found no difference in the health issue between the sexes. Women, an increasing work force in trucking business, have the same health irregularities. The brief inform published by the National Library of Medicine reveals that the women was suffering of sinus problems, backache, migraines, hypertension, and vision problems.


But the study also discovered the lack of health attention for these problems. One of each five did not have health insurance, most of them were self medicated or have paid to treat the sickness.  

Nevertheless, the first responsible to take care of the health is the driver. Bad habits also take part in the bad health.  They found problems in the Body Mass Index of the drivers also, and the cause is possibly the fast food or no balanced food drivers frequently eat plus the posture of work. The self medication with narcotic analgesic and antihistamine is another dangerous habit.