Earlier this year, a truck driver known as “Maddog Trucker,” the owner of a popular trucking blog, took to his site to post some thoughts about road safety. This winter has been a particularly bad one for trucker wrecks, and Maddog was emotional:
The sad reality some Truckers have witnessed, and live with, is the screams they hear every night in [their] nightmares. 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.
His words likely landed close to home for many readers. Around a third of the 3.5 million truck drivers in the U.S. will be involved in a serious road accident at some point during their careers. That’s a lot of people—more than a million—experiencing potentially severe job-related trauma. In fact, long-haul truckers have some of the highest rates of injuries and illness of all occupations—which makes it all the more alarming that truckers often have a difficult time accessing mental-health services.
Part of this has to do with the makeup of the trucking industry in the first place. Approximately 94 percent of drivers are men, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and men are less likely than women to seek treatment for emotional distress. Research has also found that lower-income working-class Americans don’t seek mental-health care as readily as members of the middle and upper classes.