Fatigue is a common issue among working Americans, especially those who work long hours with little time for other activities. Burnout has long been identified as an evolution of tiredness and continues to draw concern on behalf of health care professionals. While overwork is not ideal in any occupation, truck drivers and burnout in Georgia are a particularly deadly mix.
Psychology Today lists some of the tell-tale signs of burnout and how to identify those signs, noting that a large majority of professionals experience pressure from colleagues and bosses to complete work to nearly inhuman measures. As a result, chronic stress (otherwise known as burnout) settles in and can lead to a number of health complications. Some common concerns include emotional and physical exhaustion, feelings of uselessness and total detachment. Many truck drivers face long and grueling hours on the road, often without needed breaks. Regardless of the level of exhaustion, Psychology Today warns readers that prolonged burnout can result in serious health issues in the future.
Burnout is such a serious occurrence that new regulations have taken effect in attempts to lessen the number of tired — and dangerous — truckers on the job. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shared a 2013 change in federal regulations that altered hours-of-service; now, the limit for the average work week for truckers is 70, allowing workers to gain adequate rest. This modification is a decrease from the former limit of 82 hours a week. Other details apply to this new rule, but the FMCSA adds that the final component allows up to 14-hour work days. Even though some drivers do not experience burnout, the consequences of breaking this regulation are severe: if individual drivers are found violating the new hourly guidelines, penalties of up to $2,750 could ensue.