Throughout the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland and the United Kingdom professional truck drivers bring world essentials to retail stores, manufacturing plants and distribution centers. They are the vital carriers of everything that keeps an economy alive and successfully moving forward. Through harsh weather conditions, congested traffic, frayed roadways and mountainous areas, these drivers are on the highways when many people are fast asleep.
Safety laws governing the type of materials being transported, a trucks size, weight, maximum speeds, and the amount of noise and exhausts it adds to the environment can often cause a great deal of stress to the driver. The working hours of a long distance truck driver varies according to the safety regulations governing specific countries. However, it is mandatory that all drivers rest sufficiently.
For instance, in the United States the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration limits drivers to eleven hours of driving followed by ten hours of rest. Truckers must also abide by other working and rest time regulations. Fatigued drivers place themselves and other highway travelers at higher accident risks. Reports confirm that truck drivers driving for more than eight hours at a time are at higher risk for accidents.
Threats and Public Concerns
In contrast, the effect that long distance trucking has on the environment, driver mortality, resource consumption, family member quality of life, and occupational health and safety are issues of public concern. Trucking also adds to greenhouse gases and fuel consumption. Nevertheless, a growing topic is the effect of long-distance transport of animals on the environment. Untreated animal waste could contain harmful bacteria, heavy metals and ammonia.
Concerning health, drivers sometimes take stimulants to stay awake and depressants to go to sleep. Family members should be trusting and supportive. Likewise, the driver must maintain honest and caring communication with his or her family members. Some truckers experience nervous tension because their wages do not contribute enough to meet obligations and needs.
Effective means of communication also help lower the dangers of long distance trucking. CB’s are helpful for emergencies such as finding the nearest gas station to fill up, blockades, speed traps, construction, and other issues on the highway that may pose a threat to the driver and the transported materials. Even with the new anti-lock brake systems, sudden stops can cause trucks to flip over.
Overall, the dangers of long distance truck driving affects the world. The threats are very broad and some can bring about chain reactions leading to mass health issues. An example is hazardous materials from a truck leaking into our main water system. Fortunately, health and safety authorities work hard at enforcing back-up plans and solutions in the event of such incident.