This fatigue can be harmful, not only to the truck driver’s health, but also to the safety of every other traveller on the highway. In fact driving fatigue is just as dangerous as a driver making an illegal turn or stopping without any prior warning. Many law firms have settled cases where a truck driver has been involved and driving fatigue has been the cause of the accident.
The average trucker gets less than five hours of sleep every night. This may not seem dangerous right off but over time the effects of sleep deprivation will start to show. Driving without getting enough sleep can be just as dangerous as driving drunk because the senses are impaired. Listed below are some of the harmful side effects of sleep deprivation.
- Alertness decrease
- Impairment to the memory
- Stress in personal life
- Occupational injuries
- Inability to participate in recreational activities that can keep a person healthy
- Performance decrease when going about normal duties
This list is just an example of a few of the short term side effects. The list below are some of the long term effects of sleep deprivation that can develop over time.
- . High risk of heart failure or a heart attack
- . Mood disorders
- . Obesity
- . Chance of having a stroke
- . Attention Deficit Disorder
All of these are harmful issues that need to be dealt with if the highways are to be kept safe for all who travel on them. There are simple ways to keep sleep deprivation from becoming a problem. Unfortunately, even though the preventatives are simple many people do not take the time to implement them.
- Do not start a stressful or difficult task before work
- Be sure to get enough sleep, plan a sleep schedule if necessary
- Try not to drive during the times that studies have shown as the ones where drivers make the most mistakes.
- Get some rest as soon as possible after your work day is over
- Plan rest breaks throughout the day to give you time to replenish your energy
There are many other things that can be done to cut down on sleep deprivation which in turn can help prevent accidents related to this condition. This is helpful for everyone and by taking precautions against driving fatigue the highways will be a much safer place, both for the truck drivers and all those who share the roads with them.
Another problem that can affect truck drivers is lower back pain. Truck drivers are sitting for the majority of their workdays and this can cause problems. Since truck drivers sometimes have to help unload their merchandise lower back pain can be a real problem. However, some of them are denied the care they need and as a result are unable to perform certain tasks. Opioid painkillers are very effective but doctors are not encouraged to prescribe them right away. Anti-inflammatories or a muscle relaxer are recommended and can be effective but some insurance companies do not cover this. Due to some of the old guidelines though many insurance companies deny claims for these types of medication.
This denial causes prolonged suffering. There are new guidelines in place so that insurance companies can offer help for different types of therapies that can reduce back pain. Lower back pain is a very common among employees in many different walks of life, truck drivers are just one example. Now, this is just for those experiencing lower back pain caused by their work. It does not include those suffering from damage to the nerves that needs surgery to correct. Recovering from a nerve surgery can take years so exploring all other options first is always a wise choice.
All of the information listed above is crucial to keeping employees safe. As stated above truck drivers are just one example of those affected by the two ailments, driving fatigue and lower back pain. However, all of the information on how to avoid and treat these conditions can be applied by every person, no matter what line of work they are in.