An analysis of the lifestyle risk factors for long-distance truck drivers
Von Wielligh, Barend Koortzen
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The Road Freight Industry accounts for 1 to 5 percent of most countries GDP (AECOM International Development, 2011). According to e-Natis there was 321 056 Trucks (Heavy load Vehicle GVM > 3500 kg) in South Africa by November 2009 (Arrive Alive, 2009). This relative big industry, according to the statistics, influences most other industries value chains. Vehicles are driven by trucks drivers, making driving trucks their living. These drivers have their own lifestyles and ways that they go about. This study focusses on the risk factors of truck drivers’ lifestyles, especially long-distance truck drivers. This mini-dissertation draws attention to the limited research done on lifestyle risk factors and occupational hazards of long-distance truck drivers in South Africa. Most of the legislation regulating road transport is old and outdated, and any existing legislation is not being enforced. The goal of the study is to draw closer attention to the impact of certain lifestyle risk factors, social behaviours and occupational stressors on the lives of long-distance truck drivers, their close families and communities. The research was based on a comprehensive literature review as well as an empirical investigation done in the Gauteng province. A total of 150 long-distance truck drivers participated in the empirical investigation, by completing anonymous questionnaires. It is the researcher’s hope that this mini-dissertation will aid the betterment of long-distance truck drivers’ lives, general health and to make South African roads safer for all road users.