Fatigue left unchecked can lead to a number of problems and even ill health. Now truck drivers who spend most of their time on the road long distance driving have the opportunity of getting medical attention on the road.
Basically truckies now have no excuse for not visiting the doctor when they feel under the weather while on the road. This is particularly useful when you consider that there are so many elements of long distance truck driving that can work against a truckies health.
Fatigue, bad eating habits, lack of sleep, use of drugs to stay awake and abuse of caffeinated drinks can all contribute to bad health among long distance truck drivers and often due to gruelling schedules and deadlines drivers don’t have the opportunity to seek medical attention.
Now due to a new method of medical consultation, truckies too can have the medical attention that the rest of the population enjoy via video conferencing. The new method allows truck drivers to attend medical appointments from the cab of the vehicle using their smart phone or tablet.
In the past this method has been utilised by people working in mines successfully. Now a support group for truckies, Trans-Help Foundation has urged the trucking industry to also adopt the system of medical consultation.
The app, GP2U helps drivers access medical doctors, dieticians, diabetes educators, psychologists and psychiatrists as well. All they need to do is log in to the app, book an appointment and they will be directed to a virtual waiting room to wait for their consultation. Once its’ time for their appointment they simply click a button and they talk face to face with a doctor as you would on Skype. All that’s needed is phone coverage.
CEO of the foundation, Dianne Carroll was recently quoted as saying that drivers and operators should use this as an opportunity to save time and money. She went on to explain:
“We (Trans-Help) work as a triage for the industry.
“If we haven’t got the answers for drivers we find them.
“We work a lot with doctors and psychologists.”
This new app saves both time and money because truckies don’t have to take time off work or put off going to the doctor until they get home which sometimes could take weeks. Some truckies end up putting it off entirely and end up in hospital with a much more serious situation.
Dealing with Fatigue Before it Becomes Problem
While developments such as the GP2U app are welcomed, as are any that can help keep truckies healthy and fit on the road it is important for truck drivers to remember the importance of protecting their health in the first place.
Undoubtedly some of the most serious consequences of long distance driving is fatigue and left unchecked it is an issue that can lead to a slew of other problems both mentally and physically, directly affecting a driver and those indirectly affecting drivers.
It is for this reason that fatigue management has become one of the most serious issues relating to truck driving and because of the health consequences that it can lead to, apps of this nature have become necessary.
So serious are the consequences of fatigued driving that it has been compared with drink driving. In fact research has proven that driving while fatigued is as dangerous as driving while intoxicated because it affects the body’s reflexes in much the same manner. a fatigued person physically cannot concentrate as they would when wide awake and alert.
Avoiding fatigue is an on-going battle for truck drivers and is crucial to their survival not only to avoid crashes but also to ensure that they don’t develop sicknesses which affect their ability to do their job.
High blood pressure, headaches, depression and anxiety have all been associated with fatigue and health professionals agree that fatigue can lead to these conditions and more. But it is also true that fatigue could be an indicator of an underlying health condition, especially if you have done everything you can including getting enough sleep, taking the required rest breaks etc. and are still experiencing fatigue. This app can be extremely useful in assisting people diagnose the cause of their fatigue after having done everything else required to manage it effectively.