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Long-Haul Truck Drivers


Long-haul truck drivers operate heavy trucks and tractor-trailers (with a capacity of at least 26,000 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight). These men and women are essential to the transportation of goods in the United States, but high job demands and low control (e.g. tight delivery schedules, delays, etc.) may cause stress and lead to poor health.

Long Days and Hard Work

By law, drivers of commercial vehicles and trucks are permitted 14 hours of duty per day worked. They are required to take a mandatory 10-hour break before they can drive again for work. As a result, long freight delivery routes often require them to sleep away from home. Life on the road makes it more difficult to live healthy because of:

  • irregular schedules
  • long hours
  • little physical activity
  • limited access to healthy foods on the interstates
  • stress

Health Challenges

Compared to U.S. adult workers, truck drivers have higher rates of.

In 2010, we did a large, in-depth national survey on long-haul truck drivers to learn more about the health and safety conditions in these workers. The survey helped us better understand how certain health conditions, behavior, and work environment combine to affect long-haulers’ safety and health. We hope the information we gathered from the survey will help guide truck driver health and safety policy and address the health and safety concerns they face.

Learn more about the health and safety issues we noted among long-haul truck drivers, and resources to address them.

  1. Robinson CF, Burnett CA. 2005. Truck drivers and heart disease in the United States, 1979-1990. Am J Ind Med 47(2):113-119.
  2. Sieber WK, Robinson CF, Birdsey J, Chen GX, Hitchcock EM, Lincoln JE, Nakata A, Sweeney MH. 2014. Obesity and other risk factors: the national survey of U.S. long-haul truck driver health and injury. Am J Ind Med 57:615-626.