Truck drivers are always on the move, but their long hours, irregular schedules, stress and limited physical activity often leads to serious health issues, including diabetes, hypertension and obesity. Time on the road can prevent drivers from receiving the regular health care they need, but UrgentCareTravel, with a growing network of walk-in medical clinics located at Pilot and Flying J Travel Centers, the largest truck stop company in the country, aims to help drivers address their chronic conditions by offering affordable and convenient chronic care management.
“Truck drivers are an under-served population that need medical care more than the general population,” says Mitch Strobin, the Senior Vice President of Relationship Management for UrgentCareTravel. “Without convenient medical care, however, their chronic conditions will worsen and cost them their job, their income and their long-term health. This has a ripple effect on the trucking industry – trucks not moving freight on the highways due to unhealthy drivers cost the industry hundreds of millions of dollars per year.”
Trucker Health and Chronic Condition Statistics
Many of the 1.7 million long-haul truck drivers face chronic health issues — conditions that last longer than a year such as asthma, arthritis, cancer, obesity, diabetes, chronic pain or heart disease. According to the CDC, six in ten adults in the U.S. have a chronic disease and four in ten adults have two or more. Many chronic diseases are caused by:
- Tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke
- Diets low in fruit and vegetables and high in fats and sodium
- Lack of physical activity
- Excessive alcohol use
When it comes to trucker health, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that 69 percent of truckers are obese, more than double the national average of 31 percent. The prevalence of diabetes among truckers is 50 percent higher and 87 percent of truck drivers have hypertension or pre-hypertension. In fact, half of the professional drivers on the road receive a restricted CDL license of one year due to a chronic condition like diabetes, hypertension, obesity or high cholesterol.
UrgentCareTravel’s Affordable Health Network
Health insurance can be expensive, and high deductibles are often a deterrent when it comes to seeking medical care for chronic conditions. UrgentCareTravel’s Health Network is not an insurance plan. It’s an affordable health membership plan that provides you and up to four additional family members with no deductible and no co-pay health care, including Chronic Care Management, DOT Physicals, primary care services, in-clinic labs and pharmacy services. Members also receive discounts on injectable medications and external lab work. There are no membership restrictions due to preexisting conditions or age.
“When you have a chronic condition like diabetes, the MAYO clinic says you should see your provider once a month until the condition is under control and then every two to three months after that. If you come to the clinic once a month, there are 29 other days of the month that you’re on your own. The time between visits is just as critical as the visits themselves,” says Strobin.
Your UCT health coach works with you to create a personalized care plan to manage your chronic conditions and is available to speak to you between visits. Members’ health records are available at any UCT clinic, so if it’s more convenient to stop at the clinic in Knoxville than Oklahoma City, that’s okay.
UrgentCareTravel’s Convenient Clinic Network
Frequent clinic visits are key when it comes to fighting chronic conditions, but it’s not always easy to see a medical professional while you’re hauling freight across the country. UrgentCareTravel understands the challenges that professional drivers face when trying to find convenient and affordable healthcare.
In addition, many drivers are not fully knowledgeable about their chronic conditions and want to speak to medical provider for assistance. That’s why UrgentCareTravel is offering a free Health Check for drivers at all their clinics.
“We have 13 clinics and we’re opening up another three this year, so we’re becoming available to more drivers because we have a bigger geographical footprint,” Strobin says. “With the free Health Check, you can come to the clinic, talk to a health coach, and learn more about your conditions. If Health Network is a fit for you, you can join right at the clinic and start working on your personalized health plan. And because we’re at the Pilot and Flying J Travel Centers, we typically save drivers an average of four to six hours of downtime or $400 or more per clinic visit.”
The best part? There’s no appointment needed.
“Drivers are dealing with traffic, and one of the worst things we can do is require them to make an appointment. UrgentCareTravel clinics are walk-in clinics. If there are people in line ahead of you, we can text you when it’s your turn,” explains Strobin. “This way, you’re not held hostage in our lobby, and you can do other things you need to do — refuel, eat, shower, do some laundry — while you wait.”
On the Road to Becoming a Healthier, Happier Driver
Healthier drivers are safer drivers. According to the Department of Transportation, truck drivers with multiple conditions are three times more likely to get into an accident. UCT clinics offer convenient access to medical professionals so drivers can receive medical care and get back on the road quickly. By prioritizing your health, you’ll increase your productivity and minimize your downtime, putting you on the road to becoming a healthier and happier driver.
“Your truck needs regular maintenance to keep you on the road — and so does your body,” says Strobin. “If either breaks down, you lose money. Taking care of yourself is as important as taking care of your truck if you want to avoid downtime. You need to take care of your health, and we’re here to help.” Visit the UrgentCareTravel website for more information on the benefits of becoming a member.