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Do truckers suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder?

Post-traumatic stress disorder can happen after any severely traumatic event. Maybe it’s a car accident, maybe it’s an assault or maybe it’s something like a house fire that you had no control over. Many studies have looked at combat exposure, finding high levels of PTSD in soldiers.

But could truckers face the same issues? Some studies have shown that they can.

For instance, The Atlantic pointed out that there are around 3.5 million American truck drivers, and, over the course of their careers, about a third of them will experience a serious crash. That’s more than one million truckers. Is it that surprising that injury and illness rates in the trucking industry are some of the highest of any industry in the U.S.?

Involvement in these accidents, especially when people are killed, can then lead to mental illness and related issues. Drivers may need treatment to drive safely, but they can’t get it because they’re on the road so much. The job is demanding and it’s hard to schedule time with a therapist. They can’t just swing by on the way home from work like most people.

Does this increase the risks on the road? Could a truck driver with PTSD have a serious issue behind the wheel when he or she sees another crash or experiences similar conditions to those that preceded a traumatic wreck?

Certainly, the risk is there. It is so important for anyone who is in a car accident to know about all possible medical treatment options. This can get expensive, though, so they also need to know about their rights to financial compensation.

Source: The Atlantic, “PTSD in the Driver’s Seat,” Anne Balay and Mona Shattell, accessed Nov. 24, 2017

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