The nation’s truck drivers are burning out

19 Jun 2018


The stressful and demanding nature of the work performed by truck drivers, who literally drive this industry, impacts their physical and mental well-being.

Forming the backbone of India’s thriving economy, the trucking industry plays an integral role in driving the growth of the nation. Yet, truck drivers have a high rate of occupation-related injury and have among the highest rates of on-job fatality. 
A month long research study, covering over 1,000 truckers has been carried out by market research and consulting organisation Kantar IMRB, in association with Castrol India, to understand the health issues faced by truckers which can be directly linked to the hazardous nature of the job and working conditions.
The report examines the lifestyle of truck drivers to understand driver well-being and personal attitudes towards health. 
Over 50 per cent of truckers face driving related health issues, such as physical stress, lack of sleep, obesity, back pain, joint pain, neck pain, eye sight issues, loneliness, breathlessness / breathing problems and mental stress.
Yet, for 63 per cent of them, health does not feature amongst their top three priorities in life.
Unusually long working hours, long periods away from home and family, difficult road and driving conditions, all emerged as issues impacting their health and well-being. 
The study revealed 50 per cent of truck drivers have trips where the duration is over 12 hours and 46 per cent drive continuously for over six hours with no breaks. This brings to light the stressful lifestyle of long distance commercial drivers. Maintaining mental and physical fitness is of utmost importance in the trucking industry. And yet, 62 per cent of the drivers have not undergone a medical checkup in the past one year.
The ergonomic risk factors faced by Truck Drivers as a result of awkward and fixed postures, repetitive twisting of back and neck and working and sleeping in tight spaces result in chronic back, neck and joint pain.
This health  negligence amongst truck drivers is exacerbated by an unfavourable environment and cultural factors in the road transport industry like poor driver infrastructure, badly maintained vehicles, lack of hygienic food and places to rest, low wages, unplanned driving schedules and long absences from home. 
Consequentially, most truck drivers end up neglecting their own health while struggling to make a decent living.
According to Omer Dormen, managing director, Castrol India, “The trucking industry is a significant contributor to our nation's economic growth and prosperity and truck drivers are the vital force in moving the nation forward. Castrol has a long and close relationship with truckers in India for over a century. We have several programmes in place to improve their safety and well-being. Taking cognizance of the results that have come out from the recent survey, we are putting in further effort into finding solutions which could mitigate some of the challenges being faced by this section of society.”
Castrol also commissioned experts from The Yoga Institute in Mumbai to further investigate the issues and come up with some easy health tips, which can be followed by the truck drivers even whilse driving. The result is a series of Yoga aasanas especially developed for truckers by the The Yoga Institute – the Truck Aasanas. Over the next six months, Castrol will work towards sharing these yoga aasanas with truckers across the country, encouraging them to focus on their health and well-being.

Business History Videos

History of hovercraft Part 3...

Today I shall talk a bit more about the military plans for ...

By Kiron Kasbekar | Presenter: Kiron Kasbekar

History of hovercraft Part 2...

In this episode of our history of hovercraft, we shall exam...

By Kiron Kasbekar | Presenter: Kiron Kasbekar

History of Hovercraft Part 1...

If you’ve been a James Bond movie fan, you may recall seein...

By Kiron Kasbekar | Presenter: Kiron Kasbekar

History of Trams in India | ...

The video I am presenting to you is based on a script writt...

By Aniket Gupta | Presenter: Sheetal Gaikwad

view more