You know the biggest threats that you face out there on the road — distracted drivers, bad weather conditions, and road rage.
But there are other things that you probably encounter every day that can also be harmful, in ways that you never expected!
Unexpected Things That That a Toll On Truck Drivers
1. Vibrations. That ache in your lower back? It might not just be from hunching over your steering wheel all day. Vibration might not seem like the most dangerous thing you face all day, but research suggests that the whole-body vibrations truck drivers absorb might lead to painful kidney bruising. In addition, the vibration puts extra strain on the muscles of your back, adding to your aches. Maybe the worst news? Whole body vibration can cause microfractures in the spine which can lead to ruptured or herniated discs.
2. Leaning your elbow out the window. We know lots of you out there can’t drive without an elbow out the window, but be warned — medical experts say that you’re putting yourself at risk for ulnar nerve compression if you do this. The most common symptoms are numbness in the little and ring fingers, but if your condition worsens, it can become harder for you to move your fingers and your grip might weaken.
3. Boredom. Driving a truck can be mind-numbingly boring. Most truck drivers eventually make peace with boredom as a harmless but necessary part of the job. Research shows that boredom is actually more dangerous than you think. But boredom is associated with all kinds of dangerous nastiness, including drug and alcohol abuse, overeating, depression, and, worst of all for people in charge of 80,000 pound trucks, increased mistakes on the job.
4. Social media (sort of). Most of us see social media as a way to kill a few extra minutes. Or maybe we use it as a way to see what other people in our social circle are up to. Totally harmless, right? Maybe not so much. Studies find that passively consuming content on Facebook is associating with increased feelings of isolation and unhappiness. For truck drivers who already have to deal with the loneliness of the road, this added sense of isolation isn’t great for your mental health.
But wait! Before you leave CDLLife’s Facebook page forever, you should know that the same study says that interacting directly with other people on Facebook (by liking things, sending messaging, and posting photos) helped people to experience increased feelings of well-being and sociability. So no more lurking allowed!