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Common health risks for truck drivers

Becoming a truck driver can be lucrative. The work is relatively easy to learn, offers great job security and presents traveling opportunities. Yet, truck driving is considered dangerous work. In fact, there were 840 truck drivers killed on the job in 2018.

In addition to this accident risk, truck drivers may also be jeopardizing their health. Here are a few examples of the health risks truck drivers face.

Weight concerns

The truck-driving lifestyle generally entails a lot of sitting and eating processed or otherwise unhealthy food from rest stops. The combination of the two can easily result in drivers becoming overweight.

Having a body mass index (BMI) that exceeds 30 is considered obese. Obesity increases a person's chances of having the following conditions:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Sleep apnea
  • Arthritis
  • Gallbladder disease

Night-shift risks

Those who drive truck during a night shift also increase their odds of developing issues with their health. Because being awake at night and asleep during the day counters the body's circadian rhythm, even those who get a full 8 hours of sleep may feel drowsy, fatigued, irritable and/or unable to focus.

These symptoms can easily lead to an accident while operating an 80,000-pound vehicle in the dark.

Long-term effects of night-shift work have included:

  • Some types of cancers
  • Heart Disease
  • Issues with the body's metabolic process
  • Ulcers
  • Obesity
  • Gastrointestinal issues

Stress

Some experts have suggested that truck driving may present more opportunities for stress at work than other occupations. In addition to the stresses that general traffic and rush hour can create, truck drivers are also kept on tight schedules that pressure them to get from point A to point B in a timely fashion.

High amounts of stress can contribute to many of the health risks already listed, such as high blood pressure and heart disease. It can also lead to other bad habits, such as smoking, which is common among truckers. Smoking can cause cancer and chronic issues with a person's lungs.

Sitting

Chronic low back and neck pain has been linked to commuters having bad driving posture. And, even with the most proper driving posture, sitting too much has also been linked to many health issues, such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • Obesity
  • Shortened lifespan

Seek compensation for injuries

If you are experiencing an injury you received while driving truck that is affecting your ability to work, it's critical that you notify your employer and look into your options for workers' compensation.

An attorney can help you seek out an approved workers compensation doctor, who is reliable. A lawyer can then assist you with filing and defending your claim.

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