Trucking across America
Keep truckers healthy
America runs on trucking companies to get our products to us. If the industry came to a grinding holt, we would be without food, water, mail and any other products we need to run our daily lives and even the luxuries we obtain for our homes. Picture life without furniture, appliances, toiletries, clothing and anything else that you could imagine that would fit in a semi.
Truckers are given an unfair job of not only being able to be home with their families but unable to purchase healthy foods so that they can be healthy. Truck stops do not offer healthy meals, nor do any convenience stores that they could possibly stop at. Many drivers live off of high calorie snacks and eat a large unhealthy meal when they stop for the night.
Not only is eating a problem but they are unable to get the healthcare they need because it is impossible to make an appointment and keep it because they are never home. Their lives are cut short because of their inability to be healthy.
Truck stops need to start serving healthy foods for these men and women. There are no choices of what they can eat because their parking space is limited because of their truck sizes. Only 14% of all truck drivers are not obese and that number is sad.
So how can this problem be solved so that we can keep our truckers healthy. The answer is simple. Start providing healthy meals at the places they eat. Stop selling high calories snacks and junk and provide healthier snacks so that they have more options to choose from.
My husband is a driver for a company here in Jacksonville and he said it is horrible what they are made to eat. He is fortunate that he is not obese, but he still says the choices of food are aweful to say the least.
We depend on these men and women to get our goods to us. The least we can do is provide healthy and nutritious meals so that they can be healthy and happy.
Keeping our truckers healthy
Eighty-six percent of the estimated 3.2 million truck drivers in the United States are overweight or obese, according to a 2007 study in The Journal of the American Dietetic Association.A few years ago, Mr. Blowers’s group conducted a blood pressure screening of more than 2,000 drivers at an annual truck show. “We sent 21 directly to the emergency room, and one of them had a heart attackon the way there,” he recalled.
It’s a problem not just for truckers, but for anyone who shares the road with them. In 2010, heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers accounted for 13 percent of all fatal occupational injuries, according to preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A 2007 report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that 87 percent of crashes involving truckers stemmed to some degree from driver error. Twelve percent of these cases were because the driver was asleep, had a heart attack, was in diabetic shock or had some other health problem.
“Of the accidents that are preventable, I’d say about 10 to 25 percent, if not higher, were from drivers who were tired, had sleep apnea or were not physically fit,” said Chad Hoppenjan, director of transportation safety services at Cottingham and Butler, an insurance broker in Dubuque, Iowa.
The United States Department of Transportation requires drivers to pass a certifying medical exam every two years. Drivers are checked for severe heart conditions, high blood pressure and respiratory maladies, including sleep disorders.
While the statistics are bleak, they’re not especially surprising. Driving is a sedentary activity. Most truckers are paid by the mile, so they tend to squeeze out every last second of the 11 hours they’re allowed on the road in a 24-hour period.
So why is the DOT allowing unhealthy drivers to drive over the road? It seems that they could help in some way to get these men and women healthy and give them alternative choices instead of eating out of greasy spoons.
We need a solution to this ever growing problem and it needs to start at home. If your wife wants to keep you around longer, get a refrigerator installed in your truck and pack it with good food, that way you will be eating healthy and keep a healthy weight.
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