One of the most difficult aspects of commercial truck driving occurs after a driver has been involved in an accident. In an article published by The Atlantic, they spoke with drivers that were mentally affected by a truck wreck.
“Being in a wreck –– or even seeing one –– can cause enough stress and anxiety to become a diagnosable mental illness, like acute stress disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). And with jobs that keep them away from their communities for such long stretches of time, many truckers lack the social support that could otherwise help them cope,” one driver stated.
Too often, social media platforms are the only place where they can trade stories and vent their frustrations with people who can understand exactly what they are talking about. This is especially helpful after truck drivers have witnessed an accident that shakes them up, because it is a safe forum for them to express their fears without being judged.
Drivers describe in detail the combination of exhaustion, the mental stress of ensuring that a delivery schedule is met and the anxiety of witnessing an accident or being involved in an accident that can cause PTSD in some commercial truck drivers.
PTSD is often diagnosed in soldiers returning from battle, but health care experts have also identified PTSD in some professions like commercial truck driving. Common PTSD symptoms include panic attacks, lack of focus and sleep difficulties, which echo what drivers described on social media channels.
Perhaps a truck driver who goes by the moniker ‘Maddog Trucker,’ says it best on his trucking blog:
“The sad reality some truckers have witnessed, and live with, is the screams they hear every night in [their] nightmares,” he writes. “Those screams are from a young child much like your own, pulled from the wreckage beside her dead mother killed by an ignorant trucker that couldn’t stop in time and crashed. No freight is worth your life and regardless of any situation, it’s not worth going home in a body bag.”