Our Motivation

Our Motivation

Over a decade ago, Habel, CAWi’s Secretary and CEO, was working in the capacity of a Road Safety Lead. He was put to task to perform a Route Cause Analysis on a fatal road accident that claimed the life of the driver. The accident occurred on a section of road that was smooth, straight, with no barriers, potholes, bumps, pedestrians, animals or any objects that could be an obvious cause for the accident. In addition, the vehicle was in good condition and the driver had undergone defensive driver training. This puzzled everyone on the team. Seemed unexplainable. However, upon further investigation, it was revealed that the driver suffered from High Blood Pressure. There were hushed discussions among the driver’s colleagues that he had complained that he didn’t want to go on the road that day and wanted to go home to get more medicine. Unfortunately, the cargo he was carrying was of great importance. An autopsy of the driver revealed that he had suffered High Blood Pressure complications and died of a heart attack.

This accident was avoidable. It was unnecessary. It was a tragedy.

There are many of such incidences that we have witnessed while performing our health and wellness checks at our Wellness Center. We have emergency cases that we rush to the Emergency Rooms of nearby hospitals because the driver’s vitals demand that we do so. We ground the vehicle and secure the cargo until a replacement driver is sent by the transport company to continue with the journey.

Long distance drivers bear a disproportionate health burden, including high rates of cardiovascular diseases, chronic conditions (predominantly diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, backache, leg pains), respiratory diseases, sexually transmitted infections (STI) and an array of mental health conditions with the most common being depression, anxiety, chronic insomnia, personality disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorders. Occupational factors that increase risk include irregular schedules, sedentary lifestyle due to long hours of driving/sitting, musculoskeletal and other injuries due to loading and unloading cargo, exposure to road accidents and deaths, extended periods of social isolation, unhealthy food choices on the road and poor access to healthcare.

Each driver needs to understand that lifestyle choices affect their decisions on the road. Every driver must begin to embrace good lifestyle choices for themselves as individuals, their families and the communities they impact.