Long haul truck drivers face many risks while working in today’s fast paced environment. While some might consider the chances of being in an accident the most pressing danger to a driver, there are several other risk factors to consider. Lifestyle-related illnesses due to poor diet and reduced exercise are a problem in the industry and it´s not hard to understand why. Living healthy on the road is challenging. Drivers travel long distances which may require time away from home for long periods and the work in itself doesn’t always provide an opportunity for physical activity. However, eating healthy and staying fit is as important for you as a driver as it is for the rest of us in society.
Is the truck driver an endangered species? At least it seems like that if we look at reports from many countries – all concluding that carrier companies have a hard time finding good truck drivers to hire. But, what’s the reason for this shortage of drivers? Of course, there is not one single answer to that, and besides, reasons differ from country to country and from region to region. However, I think that the solution to the problem is most certainly many-sided.
Every single rescue operation is about minimizing damage and ultimately saving lives, and hopefully, every single driver strives to reduce response time. For the rescue driver, with his specific knowledge and experience, it’s natural to reflect upon the matter from a local perspective. But, if we look at it from a general perspective; how many operations are there actually that may have response time reduced? Let’s have a look at some numbers.
Black ice on the road is rightly considered very dangerous when driving. Still, many drivers are not watchful enough in weather conditions where there is the risk of black ice. But, what is this black ice – and what should I know about it?
No, it’s not black
Typically, black ice is invisible. It’s a thin coating of glaze ice on the road surface. Since it’s thin and transparent, the black road surface is clearly seen through it, and that is why it’s called black ice.
But, it’s dangerous
The typically low levels of noticeable ice pellets, snow, or sleet surrounding black ice means that areas of the ice are often practically invisible to drivers. Accordingly, the driver is not prepared for the slippery road area, and there is a risk of unexpected loss of traction. This in turn may result in a subsequent accident.
Black ice sometimes forms from super-cooled rain which freezes into ice and constitutes a particular risk to winter traffic because it is extremely slippery and hard to spot. The temperature may be above freezing but the road surface may still be slippery.
The road surface can be well below freezing temperature – while the vehicle thermometer suggests it is not freezing.