Encouraging Truck Driver Health – Barry Pawelek (POY 13)

Encouraging Truck Driver Health - Barry Pawelek (POY 13)

Barry Pawelek travels the United States encouraging truck driver health throughout the industry. Here he shares his story and a few tips for drivers.

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Transcript

This transcript may differ in minor instances from the audio content. Please notify Josh Morgan of any errors you may find.

Monologue by Josh Morgan

This is The Plural of You, a podcast about people helping people. I’m Josh Morgan.

Barry Pawelek is the founder and CEO of TruckDriversHealth.org, a nonprofit organization that encourages healthy lifestyles among truck drivers in the United States. Barry travels to truck stops and trade shows across the country in a customized eighteen-wheeler, and he teaches drivers about diet and exercise. His organization also offers to help trucking companies set up employee health programs and a hotline for drivers seeking health-related services. What’s even more impressive is that he and his team provide their efforts as volunteers, free of charge. I talked with him about his work recently via Skype, and I’ll play our conversation in a moment.

I can only speculate on the occupational group that Americans might take for granted the most, but I think it’s safe to assume that truck drivers and transportation workers would be near the top of the list. I think it’s also fair to speculate that truck driving is one of the toughest jobs affecting one of the largest groups of Americans. I’ve read and heard varying figures on how many truck driver jobs there are in the United States, including from Barry, but there appear to be about two million long-haul positions, which require travel across state lines. Long-haul drivers generally work under much more dangerous, unhealthy, and lonely conditions than local delivery drivers,1 and that’s why they concern Barry more than any other group.

It’s amazing how little we as Americans know about the trucking industry, especially since we rely on truck drivers to deliver most of the products we buy. You’ll hear Barry talk about the conditions that most long-haul truck drivers face in a bit. What’s clear from research is that the job of a long-haul trucker is associated with all sorts of medical ailments, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and sleep apnea, as well as psychological ailments like depression and addiction.1 Long-haul drivers can’t exactly break from their runs to seek medical attention, so driver health has become a serious topic in the industry in recent years. It’s also a major reason why turnover in the industry has historically been higher than in other industries.2

Despite criticisms of how inefficient our transportation system is or how difficult its jobs can be, there are millions of men and women out there who have chosen the life. Some of them do it because they love it, and they are aware of the risks involved. Either way, I think truck drivers deserve a little gratitude once in a while for accepting work that needs to be done. Keep this in mind the next time you pass a semi in traffic or meet a driver at a rest stop.

So back to Barry. Barry saw the situation that truck drivers were in while working as a vendor in the trucking industry. He also had a heart attack while working as a driver himself. After that, he started a nonprofit in the mid-1990s dedicated to helping truck drivers and regular folks lead healthier lifestyles. He named it Walk a Mile America, and that evolved into the organization he runs today. These days, he drives across the country to educate truck drivers and trucking companies, and he’s able to do so thanks to support from sponsors within the industry.

I have a couple of notes before I play our conversation. First, Barry would be the first to tell you that he is not a licensed medical professional. If you’re a truck driver and you’re experiencing any of the medical problems described in this episode, talk to a doctor or visit TruckDriversHealth.org for help with finding one. Second, Barry may be the hardest working person I’ve contacted so far for this podcast, to the point that he did paperwork at his office in Hinton, Oklahoma while we recorded our conversation. There’s some background noise that I tried to clean up, but I hope that won’t distract you too much. Anyway, he was super generous with his time, and I hope you’ll find what he has to say useful. Here’s Barry Pawelek, founder and CEO of TruckDriversHealth.org.

Interview with Barry Pawelek

JM: How’s your day been so far?

BP: Not too bad. It’s pretty nice in Oklahoma right now. We’ve got a cold front coming in. If it brings some rain, we’ll be happy. Right now, all of the rain is on the east side of the state and not the west side. That’s where we are.

JM: I read somewhere that you’re from Buffalo originally. How did you wind up from Buffalo all the way in Oklahoma?

BP: I had a construction company up in Buffalo, New York. We got sick and tired of paying the politicians. We were getting hit with taxes. It was getting quite ridiculous to run a business in New York. That’s why we packed up everything, went to Arizona, and stayed there for I think 25 years.

I had a construction company there also. We did a lot of heavy haul trucking for the government. It got a little crazy out there after a while. We decided, “Hey, let’s just find another place to go.” I said, “I don’t really care where we settle down.” [My wife] looked at a home here and liked it. We bought it. We’ve been here 25 years.

JM: You went from Buffalo to Phoenix and then to where you are now in Oklahoma?

BP: Yeah. Hinton, Oklahoma. Very small town.

JM: I was wondering about your background in trucking. Have you been a trucker before? I know you said you owned construction companies.

BP: When we sold the company in New York, what we did is we knew we liked to travel. Our specialty was in super heavy haul, which means that’s the stuff that—you’re in Pennsylvania. You’re sitting behind it, there’s an escort car and five cops.

JM: Oh, okay.

BP: That’s what we did. We also had custom trucks. The one truck we had had two Laz-E-Boy recliners in it.

JM: [laughs] I didn’t know that was possible.

BP: [laughs] Well, the trucks have come a long way: satellite, big screen TV, you name anything you have in your home. I can put that in a truck.

JM: Almost like an RV, it sounds like.

BP: There’s not that many—out of five or six million truck drivers out there, less than one percent actually have the ability to buy something like that.

JM: How did you get interested in keeping these men and women healthy?

BP: When we sold the trucks and decided what to do—I enjoy working, and I like to do stuff in the industry. There’s a lot of good men and women out there. What I tried to do is I started looking at, “How can I still make an income and drive a truck or a Winnebago? How can we offset that and do something I still enjoy?”

We had formed a company called Truck Stop Events International. A company that needs to have products put into the transportation industry has a hard time doing it. Drivers are only in truck stop at night. They’re not at the same truck stop maybe once every two weeks or maybe three weeks. They don’t even get to the truck company [but] every two or three weeks. I’m going to have to get to the truck driver somehow.

What we did was we formed that company, and I worked with a couple of people. We had a contract with different truck plazas, and we basically went out there and started talking to them. [We] said, “Hey, here’s what’s available in the industry, and you can buy it or not buy it.” We’d bring it out like a showcase.

When I was out there, that’s when we actually noticed. My degree was in Physical Education. I graduated from the University of Buffalo and Erie Community College when I started college up in the Buffalo area. I always enjoyed being healthy. I was in the Marine Corp. Most Marines are fairly healthy. Watching the drivers, I was watching a change. They were starting to put the weight on then. They weren’t as heavy and unhealthy 30 years ago, believe it or not. They really have changed.

JM: What changed?

BP: Only my opinion, I believe it’s what we’re eating. I believe that, twenty years ago or thirty years ago, the chemicals that are sprayed on the products that we eat today were just beginning. They were just starting to spray corn. We have men and women that are eating the same products that they ate thirty years ago. Unfortunately, the products are not leaving our system. They’re staying with us longer. It’s harder to get rid of the chemical because it goes right into the fat cells.

JM: So the trend among truck drivers has basically followed the same trend that the rest of society did. It wasn’t anything different?

BP: At one time, I think it was a little faster. The truck industry and the transportation industry put it on a little faster than normal society, only because of the fact that a few other health issues came about at the same time. Truck drivers being stressed out, working long hours, eating at irregular times, irregular foods, stuff like that put more stress on the body than John Doe did. John Doe got a full night’s sleep. He did a little activity getting up, taking a shower, and going to work.

A truck driver wasn’t facing those things. He drove fourteen hours a day, sat around in his truck, sat around at the truck plaza, so his sedentary life was slower than the average individual in America. Now that system’s also changed. The chemicals are now catching up to our society.

JM: Tell me about TruckDriversHealth.org. What kinds of programs do you have in place to try to help these people?

BP: When we started Truck Stop Events International, we started watching the drivers change. Just for curiosity, being that I was a Marine and I had a degree in Phys Ed, I was wondering why like everyone else ‘Why are they getting so unhealthy?’ so I started doing questionnaires.

When we started doing questionnaires with Truck Stop Events International, we did not get a lot of the research with the correct names and information on them. What happened was, when we started asking drivers “How’s your health?” “Has your family had health problems?” we were getting some of the information back but were getting them with the names Donald Duck, Goofy, Peter Pan. We didn’t know why. We’d get about 300,000–400,000 and they were all like that.

We said, “What did we do wrong?” We started to ask the drivers “Why are we not getting the information?” What they told us was “We do not want our company or our industry to know that I might have heart troubles” because of the possibility of losing a position.

JM: Oh, wow. I never considered that.

BP: Yeah. Even though they can’t do it legally, it’s done every day.

I said, “How can we get the information?” Truck Stop Events International doesn’t really say anything about health. It was just about events. We started a program [where] we said, “How can we help the men and women with programs?” A lot of our friends and our staff have degrees in their positions. I sat down with them and said, “What can we really do that makes this thing come across to the drivers that they need to be healthy?”

Walk a Mile America was the program we came out with 15–18 years ago. Even that was limited because Walk a Mile America does not have “truck” in it. You hear Walk a Mile America and it has nothing to do with transportation. That’s what happened.

JM: Walk a Mile America is more of a general foundation?

BP: Yeah, that’s the foundation generally for the whole public United States. What we [did] then was say, “Okay, what can we do to start being more specific?” We put together TruckDriversHealth.org programs, organizational programs, for the trucking and transportation industry. It was formed two years ago and we put it on the road last year.

JM: What are some things you try to teach truck drivers to help them be healthier?

BP: A lot of men and women that are truck drivers don’t realize that truck and the transportation industry is a good workout location. What you’ve got to do though is be taught how and what to do when you’re driving that truck.

If I took a truck and pulled it into a truck plaza, and I was going to have lunch, I try to talk to drivers, “Park as far away as possible.” It might increase your walking distance a little bit, but over a week or two of doing that, you’ve added a little bit of mile to your walking. Little by little, that’s going to catch on with your body. You’re going to feel a little bit better, but that’s just the first step.

Then I said, “Okay, not only have you now parked way over at the other side of the driveway and you have to walk more steps to get in there—” We brought out a program with Walk a Mile America, and I had the men and women walk with me from their truck to the plaza. As I was walking, I was throwing pennies out. I had them eat lunch before they went back to their trucks. As they went back to their trucks, I stopped at each penny. I bent over and showed them how to correctly bend over. With my right hand, I picked the penny up; go to the next penny and picked it up with my left hand. I did that ten times. Now the men and women are saying, “Hmm! Interesting.” Now I take ten pennies and go to twenty pennies, to fifty pennies, to a dollar, I’ve done some pretty good bending.

JM: Good exercise.

BP: What we were taught fifty years ago and what’s taught today are totally different. We were being taught to get in the gym, stress it out, and push the limits. We’ve now found out that you can work about ten times during the day for about two or three minutes, and it’s equivalent to a workout at the gym. What we try to do is say, “If you’re a truck driver and you’re picking up the pennies and you’re up at fifty pennies, let’s try something else.” They had to put one or two steps to get in their truck, but most drivers only get in and out of their trucks about five times a day. Let’s increase that first step. I pull myself up and put myself back down. Pull myself up, put myself back down.

JM: Oh, that’s clever.

BP: I can start now and go to the second step. I’m getting my legs to do something. I’m picking up the pennies, which is helping my breathing, my stomach, my thighs, stuff like that. Now I’m pulling myself on a truck more times. Instead of being in and out of that truck only five times a day, I just made a workout that’s going to be maybe seven times a day. I can do that and cover that program we talked about earlier. If I do ten minutes a workout ten times a day, I’m doing better than if I went to a gym.

JM: Do you find that you have to convince truck drivers to do these exercises even though they may be shy about it? If they’re doing the stepping exercise, they might worry what the other drivers would think. Do you find that’s a common occurrence?

BP: At one time, if I went out and talked to drivers, they’d be embarrassed to do anything out there because health was not really an issue.

When I talked to companies at that time, out of ten companies, nine of them turned me down. They didn’t think that health was going to become an industry problem. Now, in the last couple of years, the average person out of five drivers that takes the DOT [exam], two of them fail it [and] the third one [is] on the borderline. If you’re a truck company like, say, Swift, J.B. Hunt, LandStar, anyone of them that have 25,000–30,000 drivers, add that math up.

Right now, if you go to a truck company across the United States, you’re going to see about, in an average company, fifty to a hundred trucks sitting there that they cannot get operational because the guy is either on leave or can’t pass the DOT that day.

JM: Could you describe the DOT exam process? I read on your website that failing the exam is a real possibility for many truck drivers. What’s involved with that?

BP: You have to have a DOT physical every two years, and you have to pass it. Everything’s checked out like you have a normal physical. If the doctor sees your blood pressure high—now there are regulated numbers that have to go with the DOT that says, okay, if you have just a slight increase of blood pressure, you can now be turned down for thirty days. You’ll have a chance to bring that blood pressure down by whatever means. The second time you go in there, you’re looking at six months and then you don’t get it at all—the DOT has failed you.

JM: I guess the purpose is to make sure there are safe drivers on the road?

BP: It’s not so much safe as how healthy you are. Like a pilot, you have to be fairly healthy to be flying that plane. You don’t want to be unhealthy.

JM: Gotcha.

BP: Drivers are the same way. An average truck driver does 100,000 miles a year. You don’t want him having a sugar diabetes attack. You don’t want him having a heart attack. Now granted, a lot of drivers are healthy, but that scenario versus the last twenty years has changed.

JM: What kinds of results have you seen so far from the programs you’ve been running?

BP: We deal with probably 500-some thousand drivers a year. We have probably well over a couple million email list that we deal with just health issues. When we started [with] the drivers, I probably didn’t have a fifty percent ratio of men and women that were actually on the program and succeeding. I have men and women that have dropped 200–300 lbs.

JM: Wow.

BP: Yeah. The heaviest person we ever dealt with was 612 lbs.

JM: That’s impressive.

BP: My job is to say, “Look. If you want to make a change, that choice has to be yours. I can just give you the keys to open the door to help you. You have got to go in the door.”

JM: It’s about establishing habits and routines, and you help them do that.

BP: Yeah, and once we do that, it doesn’t take but six or seven weeks to really change your system. People think, ‘Well, I’m gonna have to bust my chops in the gym’ and stuff like that, and it’s not that.

A truck driver’s routine is a little stressful because he’s dealing with four-wheelers all the time on the road, on the highways. For a truck driver to see—he sees hundreds and hundreds of cars an hour. Everyone of them might have a bad day. [laughs]

JM: I never thought about it that way.

BP: See, and here’s what a lot of men and women don’t really realize. A truck driver can only drive a certain amount of hours per day. They’re regulated by DOT. If you start at 8:00 in the morning and the first thing you do is hit a construction zone, my time and clock are still ticking. I am now not making any money and I’m not moving my truck because I’m sitting in the construction zone.

JM: I was never aware of that.

BP: A lot of people are not. If I go through, it takes maybe an hour and a half for an accident or a construction site or whatever it’s going to be, I’m losing the time to make money. Basically, the stress is on the driver. Now he’s got the stress of the four-wheeler. He’s go the stress of the construction. He’s got the stress of a little of everything. It’s a vicious job. A lot of drivers don’t realize that they can stop more than they really can. They’re so programmed to get from Point A to Point B that they fail to consider themselves.

At the same time, how many people see a different state every other day.

JM: Oh, so there’s some sightseeing involved. That makes sense.

BP: Oh, yeah. That’s like you and your family going on a trip to California and you’re seeing every state. You’re seeing the difference in the environment, the difference in the roads and the towns, the difference in the people. A truck driver sees that every day.

JM: What makes you the most proud about the work that you do?

BP: The thing that probably moves me the most is when I see a driver’s face change. It gets really emotional when you talk to driver John today, then you see him again maybe a month later at the same truck show or truck plaza and he’s lost twenty lbs. Josh—I get a little emotional. [pauses]

JM: That’s okay.

BP: If you see them, you talk to them and you see his face or her face, and they’ve changed—they’re healthier, their motivation has changed, their whole outlook attitude-wise has changed. That couple of seconds of watching him explain to you what he’s done, you don’t get it better than that. It moves me every time. It’s probably the reward that drives me the most.

JM: In a way—I’m just sitting here thinking it’s almost like you’re a travelling teacher.

BP: Yeah! Basically, I think that’s what it comes out to be. [laughs]

JM: I’ve spoken to a couple of educators for this in the past, and they’ve said the same thing: when they see people’s eyes light up when they learn something. It sounds like you have the same experience.

BP: It stays with them. All the times that you get didn’t anything done, you sit there, you’ve been there 12–14 hours. It’s hot, you’re sticky and sweaty, and you didn’t have lunch that day. You’re saying, “Why am I sitting here? Why is this not working?” Then one of those men or women come up to you? You just fall over yourself. You just don’t get a better reward than that.

I taught at the University of Buffalo, two-year college level, and high-school level.

JM: I didn’t know that.

BP: I didn’t do it long. I went and got my degree, and I found out that I could not handle undisciplined individuals. [laughs]

JM: [laughs] You’re probably not alone in that.

So what keeps you busy outside of doing all of this work?

BP: Basically, this job takes probably 90 percent of my time up because, being a nonprofit, we have to raise funds yearly. Our fundraising starts in July and goes to November. During the day, we probably put in about 12–14 hours every day, volunteer wise. I think we start at 6:30, and I’m probably not done until 9:30, 10:30, 11:30 at night sometimes.

JM: How do you sustain that?

BP: [laughs] I don’t mind it. We’re from an older group, and we just work a little different. I enjoy what I do, so it’s not work. It’s like what you’re doing. You’re doing this program because of the fact that you enjoy doing it. If you twenty hours to do it, it wouldn’t phase you because you like it. That’s with me. I enjoy what I’m doing.

For recreation, I have a farm here in Oklahoma. We have horses, cows, and that kind of stuff. If I get really uptight, I can say, “Wait a minute. Time to take a twenty.” I’ll take a day or two off. It’s a pretty good schedule.

JM: What kinds of things do you have coming up in the future?

BP: Tomorrow, I leave for another week. Then I’m off for two weeks and off for the rest of the year. I have truck shows and truck programs that we have to right up until November. We just picked up Rodell magazines and publications. I don’t know if you know Preventive magazine, Men’s Health.

JM: Oh, sure. Yeah.

BP: We’re going to be taking that magazine and bringing it out to the truck companies because Preventive magazine is one of the nicest magazines about health out there. A lot of times, they’re sitting at a dock waiting for somebody to call and say let’s unload the trailer. They’ve got that time, and yeah, they have their phone and stuff like that, but you’re looking at a phone that is the size of your hand? It get a little boring after a while.

We decided to go, we partnered with Rodell to do it, and they’re going to be bringing those magazines out exclusively with health information about the transportation industry.

JM: That’s great. That’s a good idea.

BP: It gives us an excellent advertising opportunity because their magazine coverage is millions and millions of people. In transportation, they’re none. We’re going to open up a new avenue for them.

JM: That’s a good deal.

BP: Yeah, it’s going to be interesting. Never been done! [laughs]

JM: What’s something that regular people can do to make the lives of truck drivers easier?

BP: A lot of times, a four-wheeler does not realize the size of the semi.

JM: Is four-wheeler a term you use for everyday drivers?

BP: Yeah. They call them four-wheelers.

When you look at it statistics-wise, accidents per vehicle, truck drivers are the safest out there. They also have a very big vehicle. That truck does not stop on a dime. It does not turn a corner like a car does.

The best thing I can try to teach a four-wheeler is to stay back where you can see his mirrors [so] he can see you. If you’re going to pass, the next thing I try to teach drivers is: what you want to do is, when you’re ready to pass, make sure you do have enough distance because you’re going eighty foot long. Back off, take a look, and get by the truck as fast as you can. Go right by, get in front of it but don’t get in front of the truck. Go down farther. Keep out of that lane until you can see a good portion of that truck in your mirrors—not your side mirrors but your middle mirror.

Don’t do anything like stop. People go in front of cars and they’re so upset—’Well, this truck held me back for all this time. I’m going to get in front of him and slam my brakes on.’ That truck cannot stop like you do. Get away from it. These are vehicles that are safe, but they’re not that safe. You have to get away from them.

Drivers are very safe out there. Our industry is one of the safest out there, but you very seldom hear about that. You always hear about the truck driver hitting the bus through Walmart or whatever it’s going to be.

JM: You know, you’re right. I always hear about trucks exploding and that kind of thing. Then there are all of these drivers that are driving every day that never have an incident. That’s a good point.

BP: I have a million miles of safe driving in an eighteen-wheeler. There’s a lot of men and women out there—when you start calling a company, you’ll find out that they might have ten people, twenty people on staff that are million-mile drivers.

JM: That is impressive.

BP: Oh, yeah! People don’t get to see that. That’s the thing we try to get out there. We congratulate drivers all of the time.

It’s almost the same with what we do when we see police. Every time we go into a restaurant or any place I am, and I see any police officer sitting there, I will walk to them. If I have a chance, I will buy them lunch. If I have the change, I will say, “We really appreciate what you do because we know your job is difficult.” You’d be surprised, Josh, how many times they do not hear that. We do the same with our military. If there’s a military guy there, I will make sure I try to buy his lunch.

We have to get that kind of stuff out there. That’s what Walk a Mile America and what we do in transportation—all we try to do is say, “Hey, look. We enjoy what we’re doing, we’re going to tell people about it, and we’re going to thank other occupations that we think are important.”

JM: That’s so cool. I’m going to start watching for that kind of thing in my own life now. I never put that together, either.

BP: It’s amazing sometimes. The other day I was coming back from New York. I went to see my great granddaughter. Coming back, I was in a little town and I stopped at a Subway. A woman police officer and a male police officer were sitting there having a sub. I tried to grab the bill but they already had it paid. The thing was, I looked her in the eye and said, “We really appreciate what you girls and guys do.” She almost cried! They couldn’t understand where I was coming from.

JM: Yeah, they don’t hear that sort of thing often enough.

What’s the best way for us to keep up with TruckDriversHealth.org and what you’re doing on social media?

BP: We have our website, TruckDriversHealth.org, and the WalkaMileAmerica.org program. If you can look at them and Like them, like yourself, that helps. When we go for a sponsor, they say, “What’s your Facebook?” They look at the numbers: it’s all about numbers. The more people that will Like us on Facebook, that increase our numbers on there.

JM: What kinds of information do you provide?

BP: We’ll give you how to do a diet. We’ll give you how to exercise. We’ll give you psychological help, and we’re all free. If you talk to me on the phone, by chance you get to me, I don’t charge you. I’ll work out a program for you. If you call me, Josh, and said, “I saw you on the website.” I’ll stay on the phone for the next month with you. I’ll help you design a program that will work for you.

JM: You do get calls like that?

BP: Yeah! I’ll recommend what you can do, what you can’t do. We’ll just help you put the program together because you’re over-the-road. You’re not going to be able to go to a Jenny Craig meeting every week, but you could call. Why don’t we attach you to 19–20 other people on Jenny Craig?

JM: That’s so great, Barry.

BP: It’s just communication and togetherness. [laughs] How’s that for a term?

JM: That’s the secret.

BP: You’re doing that now, Josh. You’re doing exactly what we do.

JM: How do you mean?

BP: You reached out, but there’s a lot of companies out there that we don’t know about. You’re doing that. You’re bringing them out to say, “Hey, I was talking to this guy at this company over here. Did you ever take a look at it?”

JM: Oh, I see. Yeah.

BP: You’re doing exactly the same I do, [but] you’re younger and prettier. [laughs]

JM: Aww. That’s sweet of you.

So we’ve covered a lot. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

BP: No. If you could, Like us and tell that we’re a nonprofit, totally volunteer company. If they’re interested in the products that we have or want to sponsor us, we really, really appreciate it.

If anyone wants to call us, we’re available 24/7. We can always email, text, or phone. Either way, we’ll try to answer it. If they have programs and you find somebody that is a little shy and didn’t know what to do about a health issue they have, no matter what it is, we’re 100 percent confidential. Nothing is shared Internet wise or doctor wise. It’s all up to the person and us, and all of the programs are free. We will help you in any way we can. If it helps you, it helps us.

JM: Wow. [laughs] I feel, I don’t know. Just talking with you, I feel enriched. I’m just so glad I discovered your work and what you’re doing.

BP: I appreciate the call there, Josh. I really do. I appreciate talking with you—a lot of fun. It’s good to see that there’s young men and women out there that are searching out what America’s about.

JM: Yup. I agree with you.

Okay, Barry. That’s all I have.

BP: If I can help in any way, just tell me what it is.

JM: Sounds good, Barry.

BP: You have a good day, Josh.

JM: You, too. Thank you so much.

BP: Thank you.

Conclusion by Josh Morgan

This episode of The Plural of You was produced by me, Josh Morgan, in toasty Edinboro, Pennsylvania. Mike Martinez created the music.

Visit PluralofYou.org for transcripts, show notes, and other resources. You can keep in touch on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at PluralofYou. Subscribe by searching for The Plural of You wherever you get your podcasts. If you’re listening through iTunes, please leave a review for The Plural of You to help others find it, too.

In closing, here’s a homework assignment.

If you find that driving in traffic makes you angry more often than you like, go to YouTube and search for a video titled “Traffic Waves”. It’s a seven-minute tutorial from an electrical engineer named Bill Beaty, and he shows how to use driving as a tool to help others. He picked up a technique from truck drivers where he leaves space in front of his vehicle on the highway whenever possible. What he’s found by doing this is that traffic speeds up ahead of him and it helps other drivers be less combative. I highly recommend this video if you’re a driver because it’s helped me to calm down whenever I’m behind the wheel, too.

That’s all for now. Thanks for helping.

Notes

  1. These statements about truck driver health are based on studies like those from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, this one on mental health by Shatell and associates, and this one on emotional exhaustion by Kemp and associates. (Back to citation.)
  2. As of 2015, turnover in the trucking industry appears to be declining, but it is still higher than in other industries. See this article on the topic, dated July 2015, from the Wall Street Journal. (Back to citation.)