Driver Health Study
Posted in the Trucking Forum
Since: May 13
#1 May 6, 2013
My name is Mike. I am a former driver who is now doing research to improve driver health. I would like to talk to some drivers who have been able to stay healthy while on the road, especially by eating well and exercising. Please email me at MXLEMKE@wichita.edu if you are interested in helping with this study or if you would like more information about it. Thanks!
#2 Nov 4, 2013
I had been meaning to respond to your post a finally got around to it. I'm surprised that no one else has responded. This is a serious issue.
I work for a company involved in idle reduction. From articles I have read I am just about convinced that driver health issues, which are significant, are a combination of several factors. The job is high stress and long hours. Itís hard for them to make healthy food choices and to get exercise. But one of the issues that I think has a very significant effect on driver health is exposure to vehicle emissions. I thought it was interesting where an MIT study concluded that a person who dies from air pollution-related causes typically dies about a decade earlier than they otherwise might have and the Center for Disease Control claims that drivers have a life expectancy of about 61 years, more than a decade shorter than the average person.
This does not sound like a coincidence to me and I am amazed that there isnít something being done about it.
My interest in this is getting drivers to shut down when parked. I think that shore power is a make sense, economical means to accomplish this, particularly when they have to park long term such as for HOS. The driver saves money on fuel, there is less wear and tear on the engine with lower engine hours, the community (thatís the way I look at it) of drivers packed into parking areas will not be exposed to truck emissions, and there will be a reduction in carbon emissions which is a national interest.
Since you were a truck driver and now doing research on driver health Iíd be interested in your feedback and if there is research that you are finding that support eliminating driver exposure to emissions while parked. They canít escape them on the road but chronic exposure, especially when they have to idle when it is hot or cold, cannot be healthy. Then I read an article about Women In Trucking trying to expand the participation of women in the trucking industry and alarm bells went off. A man risks damaging the health of one person, a woman could risk damaging the health of two (or more) if pregnant. I would think that they would have a keen interest in staying healthy and reducing exposure to emissions.
If there is research out there to support improved health from idle reduction (along with arguments for better rest which can have a positive effect on health and fatigue) please let me know. Maybe we can start a conversation on here and others will join in. Maybe they will also contribute some ideas about eating well on the road and getting exercise, but I would not recommend jogging through the parking lot among idling trucks.
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