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Trucker stress may cause dangerous driving conditions

Most people in Missouri and elsewhere have encountered large trucks on highways and city roads. It is a normal part of life to share the road with 18-wheelers, but this does not mean it is any less dangerous. Large trucks have been involved in countless fatal accidents across the country over the years. A truck driver’s stress level and lifestyle may be factors that contribute to accident risks.

According to Smart Trucking, most truck drivers work with a high level of stress. They have tight deadlines and often have only a few days to get their deliveries across several states. If they fail to meet their deadlines, they may not get paid for the job. Truckers must abide by federal laws regarding how many hours they can be behind the wheel, which makes their deadlines even more stressful. They may also regularly deal with fatigue, isolation, boredom and unhealthy eating and exercise habits, which can all cause accidents.

A truck driver who only eats fast food or convenience store meals instead of healthy food, and spends most of his time in the cab of his truck instead of getting regular exercise, may be at risk of such health conditions as heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Elevated stress levels may increase these health risks. A resulting heart attack or stroke behind the wheel can cause devastating results.

In 2016, there were 21 fatalities related to large truck accidents in Missouri, a number that was higher than the previous four years, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. When truck drivers take measures to reduce their stress and improve their health, the risk of accidents may be significantly lowered.

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