The Link Between Commercial Truck Driving And Mental Health
Dallas, 05/30/2017 /SubmitPressRelease123/
You can run into many issues on the road. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is only now starting to tackle the issue of the link between commercial truck driving and mental health. While you may be wondering why that is a big issue, the fact is that truck drivers face a number of challenges that can affect how they perform behind the wheel and that affects other motorists on the road.
“I think you’re starting to see more focus on the mental and physical well being of commercial truck drivers,” stated Dallas Truck Wreck Attorney Amy Witherite of the personal injury firm of Eberstein Witherite, LLP. “Commercial truck drivers are placed under significant stress, because they are constantly worried about making delivery times, they are subjected to physical strain and they spend hours upon hours alone in the cab of a truck. We really need to pay attention to their needs, so we can help their mental outlook and help to lower the number of truck accidents.”
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ lays out in the Occupational Outlook Handbook that commercial truck drivers often operate their vehicles for 14 hours a day, with 11 hours of actual driving and three hours of safety inspections and paperwork.
Because truck drivers are paid per-mile, and not per hour, every minute they spend idling in traffic or waiting at a shipping dock for workers to load goods is a minute in which they are not paid.
As a result, some truck drivers will lie in their logbooks and claim that they were resting, when they were actually on the road, desperate to reach their destination because of a delay.
PTSD and Truck Drivers
One of the most difficult aspects of commercial truck driving occurs after a driver has been involved in an accident. In an article published by The Atlantic, they spoke with drivers that were mentally affected by a truck wreck.
“Being in a wreck –– or even seeing one –– can cause enough stress and anxiety to become a diagnosable mental illness, like acute stress disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). And with jobs that keep them away from their communities for such long stretches of time, many truckers lack the social support that could otherwise help them cope,” one driver stated.
Too often, social media platforms are the only place where they can trade stories and vent their frustrations with people who can understand exactly what they are talking about. This is especially helpful after truck drivers have witnessed an accident that shakes them up, because it is a safe forum for them to express their fears without being judged.
Drivers describe in detail the combination of exhaustion, the mental stress of ensuring that a delivery schedule is met and the anxiety of witnessing an accident or being involved in an accident that can cause PTSD in some commercial truck drivers.
PTSD is often diagnosed in soldiers returning from battle, but health care experts have also identified PTSD in some professions like commercial truck driving. Common PTSD symptoms include panic attacks, lack of focus and sleep difficulties, which echo what drivers described on social media channels.
Perhaps a truck driver who goes by the moniker ‘Maddog Trucker,’ says it best on his trucking blog:
“The sad reality some truckers have witnessed, and live with, is the screams they hear every night in [their] nightmares,” he writes. “Those screams are from a young child much like your own, pulled from the wreckage beside her dead mother killed by an ignorant trucker that couldn’t stop in time and crashed. No freight is worth your life and regardless of any situation, it’s not worth going home in a body bag.”
Getting You Back On Your Feet
“From personal experience, I know how emotional and devastating it is to be hurt in a truck wreck,” stated Amy Witherite. “That’s why our firm treats our clients like family members and takes care of the person like they are one of our own. We know getting compensation for our clients is very important, but most important is restoring your body and spirit, and that’s what we do best.”
Truck wrecks can stop your life in its tracks, which is why the team of lawyers, investigators and support staff at 1-800-Truck-Wreck are committed to keep your life running after you’ve been hurt in a truck accident. Give us a call at 1 (800) Truck Wreck for a free consultation if you’ve been hurt in a wreck.
Eberstein Witherite, LLP
Email: [email protected]
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