The health of truck drivers is a contributing factor of the current driver shortage.
Around 21% of drivers say they are leaving their jobs dues to health issues, according to a recent survey by HireRight.
The survey, 2016 Transportation Spotlight Report, concludes that addressing wellness issues could help the situation.
“Driving is a physically demanding profession and getting proper rest, eating right and maintaining an exercise routine is a challenge due to the nature of the job,” said Steven Spencer, manager director of transportation, HireRight.
“The workforce is aging and attracting younger drivers remains a challenge due to the trucking lifestyle,” Spencer added. “The transportation industry is realizing that wellness programs and other methods of improving the quality of life for drivers, while relatively new to motor carriers, are effective ways to attract and retain drivers and boost their overall health, well-being and retention.”
According to the survey, 35% of respondents offer safety and accident prevention programs, 21% offer free immunization/flu shots and 18% offer smoking cessation programs.
In addition to increased driver retention, these kinds of wellness programs can also help decrease health care and worker’s compensation costs and improve safety records, yet 45% of respondents do not offer a wellness program at all.
Wellness programs are not the only method of retaining drivers, as respondents are also investing in monetary benefits including increased pay (51%), upgraded equipment (49%) and recognition/rewards programs (41%). Non-monetary benefits are also gaining popularity with 57% investing in driver appreciation events and 35% providing flexible work arrangements.