Health Factors Put Truck Drivers At Increased Crash Risk

Matthew S. Thiese, PhD, MSPH Assistant Professor Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health University of Utah School of Medicine

Dr. Matthew Thiese

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Matthew S. Thiese, PhD, MSPH
Assistant Professor
Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health
University of Utah School of Medicine

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Thiese: The nearly 3 million truck drivers in the United States face many challenges including a lack of physical activity, limited healthy food choices, work-related stress, high physical job demands of loading and unloading trucks and a high risk of being involved in crashes. The purpose of the study was to describe truck driver health and assess relationships between both personal and occupational factors and risk of being involved in a crash. This is why it is important to get yourself checked out by a doctor before carrying out any activity involving being on the road. Depending on your job, you can be driving for a long period of time and it is most likely that you’ll become tired. A tired driver being a wheel is at a high risk of being involved in an accident. If you are soon to visit your local doctor for any problems you may have, it may be good to look into something like jj keller eld reviews to give you another way of staying safe on the roads and to help you prevent any accidents that could occur. The main thing for anyone to do before driving is checking they are physically fit to get behind the wheel. The next step though is to make sure that you can actually drive a truck. There are loads of places that you can training from, for example, you could just check out a website like MyCDLTraining.com to help you learn how to drive a truck.

Medical Research: What are the main findings?

Dr. Thiese: There were many personal and occupational factors that were significantly related to being involved in a crash. Among the personal factors assessed, drivers were more likely to be involved in a crash if they used a cell phone regularly, drank alcohol regularly, had a prior diagnosis of heart problems, reported snoring at night, had low back pain in the past year and if they had a high pulse pressure, which is the difference between the systolic and diastolic measures and is indicative of cardiovascular disease. Occupational factors related to being involved in a crash included how long subjects had been a commercial truck driver and how physically exhausted they felt after work; drivers reporting higher physical exhaustion were more likely to be involved in a crash. If you have been involved in a crash check out an Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyer.

Medical Research: Please describe other findings of interest.

Dr. Thiese: We were surprised at the number of drivers who had measured high blood pressure or measured high cholesterol. Of the participants, 23.8% had high measured blood pressure but were not previously diagnosed with high blood pressure. Another 12.4% of the drivers had been told they had high blood pressure and were actually taking medication, however, they still had uncontrolled high blood pressure. Similarly, 25.9% of the drivers were not previously diagnosed with high cholesterol but had a high cholesterol measurement at the time of the study. Of the drivers, 4.3% were being treated for high cholesterol but still had a high cholesterol measure, suggesting poor control.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Thiese: Clinicians should be aware that commercial truck drivers face many health factors and some of these factors may put them at an increased risk for being involved in a crash. There are many different methods that patients can use to address health concerns and each truck driver needs to decide in conjunction with their primary care provider the best route for improving health, whether that is eating a healthier diet, getting more physical activity, reducing stress or combination of these.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Thiese: Future research recommendations are to further investigate these relationships in order to design and evaluate possible interventions that may reduce crash risk and improve the health of commercial truck drivers.

Citation:

Factors Associated With Truck Crashes in Large Cross Section of Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers

Thiese, Matthew S. PhD, MSPH; Ott, Ulrike PhD, MSPH; Robbins, Riann BS; Effiong, Atim MPH; Murtaugh, Maureen PhD, MS; Lemke, Melissa R. MS; Deckow-Schaefer, Gwen OT; Kapellusch, Jay PhD; Wood, Eric MD, MPH; Passey, Deborah BS; Hartenbaum, Natalie MD, MPH; Garg, Arun PhD; Hegmann, Kurt T. MD, MPH

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:

October 2015 – Volume 57 – Issue 10 – p 1098–1106

doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000503

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Matthew S. Thiese, PhD, MSPH (2015). Health Factors Put Truck Drivers At Increased Crash Risk