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May 11, 2016 9:00 AM, EDT

One in Five Truck Drivers Leaves Job Because of Health Issues, Survey Finds

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Most truck drivers who quit their jobs do so to make more money elsewhere, spend more time at home or to retire. However, one in five drivers who leave are flagged for health problems and that is prompting trucking companies to offer wellness programs and step up recruiting and retention efforts, according to a survey released May 11 by HireRight, a firm that provides background checks, drug and health screening and other recruiting services to companies throughout the world.

“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, managing director of transportation for HireRight, which is based in Irvine, California, “The workforce is aging and attracting younger drivers remains a challenge due to the trucking lifestyle.”

The transportation industry is willing to spend money to attract and retain talent, Spencer noted.

COMING MAY 18: LiveOnWeb on Driver Health, Wellness From A to Zzzzz

In addition to wellness initiatives, survey respondents said they were increasing pay (51%), upgrading equipment (49%) and offering recognition and rewards programs (41%) as part of an effort to recruit and retain drivers. A large majority of fleets (57%) said they have invested in driver appreciation events and 35% said they offer flexible work arrangements.

Companies are also creating longer orientation and training periods and, in some cases, appointing a driver liaison or mentor to help new drivers acclimate to the job.

Additional details from the HireRight Transportation survey can be found at its website.