If you drive for a living, you know better than anyone the dangers of the road. According to The Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT), around 2.35 million Americans are injured in car accidents annually. It can’t be ignored that as a person who drives for a living — from being a trucker to a cab driver and everything in between — the fact that you spend much more time on the road means you are more likely than the average citizen to become a part of this statistic. Therefore it is crucial that you make yourself aware of everything you can do to minimize your chances of a driving related injury – even if you have heard it all before. Here are 5 common causes of driving injuries to note.
This issue especially applies to you if you are a truck driver. Being overworked or simply choosing to work more hours than allowed is extremely common among those in this profession. Often times employers will assign routes and deadlines that aren’t properly aligned. The routes may require more time than the legal amount of hours required, and this will force the driver to drive extra hours to avoid missing deadlines. Even with laws to stop the practice, there is no doubt it will remain a serious issue for a long time to come. Be aware that this is a leading cause of accidents for truckers. If your employer is forcing you to work to the point of exhaustion – often illegally – it may be time to look for a new one.
- Lack of Sleep
Of course, lack of sleep and overwork are strongly correlated, but sleep can be missed for many other reasons as well. Stress from work or your social life, insomnia, or simply having poor time management skills may mean that you aren’t getting as many hours of rest as you should be. Driving while drowsy is akin to driving under the influence of alcohol, and for people who drive for a living is actually more likely to be the cause of an accident.
- Vision Impairment
Vision impairment can sneak up on you. Vision is usually something that fades with age, and can happen so gradually that you may not notice it is time for an updated contact prescription or even surgery. One common cause of eye troubles is the development of cataracts, which happens to many people with age. When you depend on your vision for a living, it is essential to take care of them as soon as you notice them. Top cataract surgeons in DC can help you deal with the issue before it gets out of hand. If you drive for a living, the long term costs of cataracts – such as vehicle damage or even personal injury – will likely be more costly than the surgery itself. Don’t wait longer than necessary. Make a Washington DC cataract surgeon appointment as soon as you can if you think you may suffer from the development of cataracts.
- Neglect of Vehicle Maintenance
Frequently inspecting and properly maintaining your vehicle is an essential part of avoiding accidents that will cost you much more in the future. Often times drivers neglect these procedures because they don’t feel urgent. The same principle that applies to seeing a dentist can be applied here – if you go to a dentist only after you’ve encountered tooth pain, you haven’t gone enough. The key is to avoid actual incidents by ensuring your vehicle is in top shape at all times. To do otherwise will have major consequences.
- Aggressive Driving
This one can be easy to resort to as a person who makes a living on the road. When you feel another driver is slowing you down or being reckless, you may be have a stronger emotional reaction that the average citizen because it could cost you money or negatively affect your performance. Aggression on the road is a prominent reason for work related accidents amongst drivers or truckers. Don’t let yourself be overcome by your emotions to the point at which you make irrational decisions on the road – it could cost you dearly.
Most of these issues can only be fixed by having the discipline to accept these issues and doing what needs to be done to avoid them. Maybe you can pick up meditation to resolve your anger on the road. You may need to speak frankly with an employer who overworks you or see a doctor about sleeping issues. Vision impairment, however, can be a quick fix. Again, if there are signs that you may be suffering from cataracts, see the best cataract surgeons in DC’s website for more DC cataract surgery information. And if you experience any of these issues, don’t wait until it’s too late!