For those who don’t work in the freight and logistics industry it may seem that the life of a lorry driver is a pretty easy one; they are able to sit down all day and get to listen to the radio whilst working. The truth is however, that they face a number of issues that can cause anxiety and stress on a daily basis, these go beyond what most of us will have to deal with at work, and can lead to serious health problems both mentally and physically.
The Battle Against Fatigue
It’s well known that lorry drivers spend long days on the road which can be dangerous as concentration levels are bound to dip after a few hours. Added to long hours is the stress that many face on a daily basis because of the volume of traffic and delays which impact on many who battle against fatigue, and struggle to maintain concentration levels at all times. If I have a lull in concentration in the office it’s likely that it will go unnoticed, but on the road one dip in concentration can be fatal.
Truck drivers have to navigate their vehicles through busy traffic and around narrow streets in our towns and cities. Simply getting from one side to another can be an exhausting obstacle course, and physically and mentally draining on the driver. When regularly faced with an issue like this the levels of stress and anxiety will rise – particularly knowing that they have to face the same again tomorrow.
Meeting Deadlines While Being Safe
Regulations on how long a lorry driver can spend on the road are an essential safety enhancement for them and other road users. However, they can put extra strain on them being able to meet delivery deadlines. Reduced time on the road, confusing directions and traffic jams all play havoc with the ability to deliver the goods on time.
Sitting in a lorry for the majority of the day can be detrimental to a driver’s health and for many the food options on the road aren’t that great either. Truck drivers on short haul journeys are able to take their food with them and exercise at night. But for the long distance lorry driver, sleeping in the cab, a healthy lifestyle isn’t so easy.
Another unhealthy element can be spending a long time in isolation and away from home. The adverse effects of being alone for a long time away from loved ones are common knowledge. Dealing with mental turmoil only makes the other issues even more difficult to deal with.
The job of a lorry driver is certainly one that demands a great deal from the individual who is literally delivering the goods; an essential role not always recognised by the general public, but one which should be. Without them we would have no food in the supermarkets, no sofa to sit on, television to watch, computer to work from, or beer in the pubs. They do a great job and one that personally I applaud.
Stuart Cooke is a Marketing Executive for BMG Insurance which specialises in the haulage industry.