And is an unhealthy truck driver a hazard to other motorists?
Before a truck driver is sent out into the field to deliver their first load of cargo to an assigned destination, they must go through extensive training to ensure they are ready to handle the job and are aware of the responsibilities they have as a driver. While safety, rules, and policies are all discussed during the training a trucker must undergo, one thing that may be overlooked is how the job is going to affect a truck’s health, according to Siphiwe Baleka who was employed as a truck driver and now runs Fitness Trucking [Source: American Trucker].
After Baleka became a truck driver, he said that within two months of working in the industry, he gained 15 lbs. After realizing that “Drivers coming into this industry are sent out having no education or training on what is going to happen to their circadian rhythm or metabolism,” he went on to create Fitness Trucking and is considered to be one of the most “recognized health advocates within the trucking industry.” Baleka also went on to create his company because he believes “far too many in trucking are failing to give drivers the education and tools they need to live healthy lifestyles.”
You see, being out on the road for days at a time has a direct impact on a person’s ability to eat healthy and get in an adequate amount of rest. Between the lack of sleep and a nutritious diet, truckers are gaining weight faster than they normally would which then puts them at risk of developing other health problems. American Trucker went on to highlights that after a study was conducted by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, it was determined that “the prevalence of obesity among truck drivers is more than two times higher than the working population of the United States.”
That same study also found that “the percentage of cigarette smoking and self-reported diabetes by drivers were also at extremely elevated levels.” Aside from truckers developing various health issues and remaining in the industry only to continue suffering from them, others develop such severe conditions that they either make the cognitive decision to leave it or are forced to seek new employment in a different field.
How does an unhealthy trucker affect other drivers?
Aside from truckers having to deal with the symptoms associated with these health conditions, others are also affected as well. You see, if a trucker is constantly on the go and only has access to foods that don’t promote energy production and lead to obesity, they may become lethargic, which is already an issue many truckers are forced to deal with, and put themselves at risk of falling asleep behind the wheel. This, in turn, could impact many other motorists if that trucker happens to be traveling nearby to other cars and loses control of his/her vehicle.
Another way an unhealthy trucker can become a threat to the public is when they develop diabetes from the habits they acquired. According to WebMD, there are two ways diabetes can affect a person’s ability to drive. These include:
- If the trucker is required to take insulin or medications called sulfonylureas or meglitinides to manage their diabetes, their blood sugar could drop which would make it difficult for them to concentrate on the road or struggle to see clearly. In the event their blood sugar drops to a dangerous level, they then are at risk of passing out while driving.
- Another way diabetes affects an individuals’ ability to drive is that “over time diabetes can cause other health problems that affect driving.” It can also “hurt your vision by damaging blood vessels in your eyes or [put you at risk of developing] cataracts.”
Based on the information presented above, it is clear that truck drivers, as well as motorists, are bothat risk when a trucker adopts unhealthy habits that lead to them developing much more serious medical conditions.
And if you have been involved in a crash with a semi-truck or big rig in Tampa, FL and wish to learn more about the steps you must take to recover the compensation you need and deserve, contact USAttorneys.com to be connected with a Tampa, FL truck accident lawyer. These types of wrecks occur for multiple reasons and if the trucker was liable for causing it, our lawyers will be sure to help you prove this. Not only will our truck accident attorneys help you establish the burden of proof you need to hold the trucker accountable, but they will fight for you to receive the maximum compensation that can help you afford the medical treatments you need and reimburse you for the wages you weren’t able to earn.