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Younger Truckers More Prone to Substance Abuse

Friday, October 25, 2013

Alcohol and drug abuse by truck drivers is a serious problem that increases the risk of accidents, and endangers the safety of motorists and truckers. Drugs like alcohol and marijuana slow down driver reflexes, increasing the risk of a truck accident.

Amphetamines can have a severe effect on a driver’s health, increasing his chances of suffering a medical condition at the wheel.A new study into the incidence of substance abuse among truck drivers finds that younger truckers may be more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.

The study, which was based on a review of existing studies, was conducted by Brazilian researchers who analyzed the conclusions of 36 studies from across the world. Most of the studies were based on surveys of truck drivers.

The review finds that the drug that truck drivers most frequently abuse, is alcohol. This is followed by amphetamines, marijuana and cocaine. However, there seemed to be plenty of variation in the results. The rate of drinking alcohol on the job ranged from 1% of truckers to 91%. The rate of amphetamine use ranged from .2% to 82.5% , and the use of marijuana ranged from .2% to 30%.

Some categories of truckers seemed to be at a much higher risk of abusing drugs and alcohol on the job. For instance, younger truckers showed a much greater susceptibility to drinking on the job, while truck drivers who drove for longer trips as part of their jobs were also more likely to drink or take drugs.

Besides these categories, truck drivers who drove more at night, drank alcohol, got fewer hours of rest, were paid below the union-recommended wages or were paid based on their job performance, were also much more likely to be impaired on the job.

Texting Increases Teen Drowsy Driving Accident Risks

Friday, October 18, 2013

Teenagers, and especially college students, may already be at a much higher risk of fatigue, sleepiness and drowsiness, because of an overall lower quantity of sleep. That sleep-deprived state may worsen considerably, because of excessive texting.

According to a new study, college students may have a much harder time falling asleep, if they are texting. In fact, according to the researchers, college students who want to sleep better must consider avoiding texting just before they hit the pillow.

The research found that college students who were experiencing stress, or texting more often, were more likely to have trouble falling asleep. Not only were these people struggling with insomnia, they were also taking a much longer time to fall asleep, and also sleeping less overall, compared to persons who did not text a lot before falling asleep. These students were also likely to spend less time sleeping while they were in bed, and feel lethargic and fatigued throughout the next day increasing their risk of a car accident.

College students who were already stressed seemed to be at an especially high risk of sleep-related troubles due to texting. The problem is that many college students have the habit of texting on their cell phones well into the late hours of the night, even after they are in bed. In other words, these people do not prioritize going to sleep as soon as they hit the bed. They spend many minutes texting on their cell phones, before they finally doze off. That affects the quality of their sleep, and ensures that they get much less sleep than they require. Often, students feel pressured to answer incoming texts, no matter how sleepy they are.

In order to improve the quality of your sleep, and reduce the risk of drowsy driving, switch off your cell phones and text alerts as soon as you hit the pillow.

Dog Bites Biggest Cause of Postal Worker Injuries Last Year

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Dog bites were a leading cause of injuries involving postal employees in 2012. The risk to postal workers from dogs does not seem to have changed much from previous years. Almost every year postal workers are at some of the highest risks of dog bites.

In 2012, apart from dog bites, slip and fall accidents were one of the leading causes of postal worker injuries.The information came from a new report released by the Government Accountability Office. According to the report, in 2012, United States Postal Service workers reported an injury rate of approximately 5.44 injuries for every 100 employees. Most injuries that postal workers suffered on their mail route between 2009 and 2012 were due to slip and fall accidents and dog bites.

In fact, letter carriers and mail workers are some of the biggest victims of dog bites every year in the United States. The only other category of Americans who are at a higher risk than postal workers are children.

Every year, the United States Postal Service draws attention to the fact that its workers are at a high risk of dog bites. The agency specifically requests owners of dogs to make sure that their animals are restrained, or confined in the yard, or in a room in the house, during the postal worker’s daily rounds. It is also important to place warning signs at the entrance of your property, informing mail workers that you have an animal on the premises.

In spite of all these efforts, and in spite of all precautions, every year, mail workers suffer a disproportionate number of injuries in dog bite attacks. Most of these injuries may be minor to moderate, but few can be very serious and can even result in fatalities.


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