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It’s not just trucks that are dangerous: some drivers are, too

Actually, the above headline might reasonably benefit from a slight word adjustment, namely, the substitution of “many” for “some,” given relevant statistics that help flesh out the real-world dimensions of driver-related risks in the nation’s commercial trucking industry.

In the aggregate, commercial truckers would seem by all indications to warrant close scrutiny from safety regulators and health experts.

Here’s why, according to one national research firm focused upon the core reasons for driver turnover in the trucking field: Fully 30 percent of many thousands of truckers surveyed over a multi-year period say that they are materially concerned about their health. In fact, they believe that their occupation is imperiling it.

That’s not something you might want to be thinking about as a California passenger-vehicle driver surrounded by big-rig conveyances on a state freeway.

And there’s more stress-inducing information on that front, as supplied by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The FMCSA recently released data showing that a clear majority — in fact, 69 percent — of commercial truck drivers are obese. Furthermore, many smoke and have disease-related risk factors.

And we know that being tired is part and parcel of the job, as evidenced by a seemingly nonstop deluge of stories and reports highlighting driver fatigue in the industry.

A recent media look at truck industry safety concerns tied to drivers’ health flatly states that “drivers face an uphill battle for staying mentally and physically fit.”

Here’s hoping that the health challenges many drivers face are duly recognized within the industry and that purposeful strategies are implemented to deal with them.

Because all drivers out on state and national roadways depend on it.

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