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Research at the Intersection of Complex Systems and Commercial Driver Health and Safety

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 August 2022) | Viewed by 3332

Special Issue Editors

College of Education & Human Development, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
Interests: occupational health; social epidemiology; complexity science
Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational & Environmental Health, University of Utah Health, Salt Lake City, UT 84111, USA
Interests: overlap between a person’s job and their health
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
College of Business, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816, USA
Interests: occupational health; truck driver health; immigrant service sector workers

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Despite efforts to improve commercial driver health and safety, excess disease and injury burden continue to exist. The delineation, reduction, and prevention of this burden have eluded scientists and policymakers alike, due mainly to the underestimation of its complexity. Not only has this complexity thwarted efforts to find lasting solutions, but it has also often pushed interventions to plateaus and led to unintended consequences. Because commercial driver health and safety challenges are shaped by nonlinear and complex processes and structures beyond biology, logic dictates the need to leverage complex systems analysis in order to illuminate these phenomena.

This Special Issue is contingent on the premise that complex adaptive systems, including the enduring health and safety challenges of commercial drivers and their ramifications, share fundamental principles and so need to be studied as such, because simply combining partial studies of complex problems fails to uncover the irreplaceable behavior of the whole.

The aim of this Special Issue is to initiate a discourse toward a paradigm shift in commercial driver health and safety research with the development of new epistemological, methodological, and analytical frameworks.  This evolving paradigm will be broadly grounded in complexity science while integrating advances from population health, safety, and other sciences.

Dr. Yorghos Apostolopoulos
Dr. Matthew S. Thiese
Dr. Sevil Sönmez
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • complex systems
  • commercial motor vehicle drivers (e.g. truck drivers, bus drivers, taxi drivers, delivery drivers, etc.)
  • occupational health
  • commercial driver health
  • commercial driver safety
  • transportation sector policies

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Review

12 pages, 374 KiB  
Review
Unravelling the Complexity of Irregular Shiftwork, Fatigue and Sleep Health for Commercial Drivers and the Associated Implications for Roadway Safety
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(22), 14780; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192214780 - 10 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1679
Abstract
Fatigue can be a significant problem for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. The lifestyle of a long-haul CMV driver may include long and irregular work hours, inconsistent sleep schedules, poor eating and exercise habits, and mental and physical stress, all contributors to fatigue. [...] Read more.
Fatigue can be a significant problem for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. The lifestyle of a long-haul CMV driver may include long and irregular work hours, inconsistent sleep schedules, poor eating and exercise habits, and mental and physical stress, all contributors to fatigue. Shiftwork is associated with lacking, restricted, and poor-quality sleep and variations in circadian rhythms, all shown to negatively affect driving performance through impaired in judgment and coordination, longer reaction times, and cognitive impairment. Overweight and obesity may be as high as 90% in CMV drivers, and are associated with prevalent comorbidities, including obstructive sleep apnea, hypertension, and cardiovascular and metabolic disorders. As cognitive and motor processing declines with fatigue, driver performance decreases, and the risk of errors, near crashes, and crashes increases. Tools and assessments to determine and quantify the nature, severity, and impact of fatigue and sleep disorders across a variety of environments and populations have been developed and should be critically examined before being employed with CMV drivers. Strategies to mitigate fatigue in CMV operations include addressing the numerous personal, health, and work factors contributing to fatigue and sleepiness. Further research is needed across these areas to better understand implications for roadway safety. Full article
10 pages, 343 KiB  
Review
Challenges in Conducting Empirical Epidemiological Research with Truck and Bus Drivers in Diverse Settings in North America
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(19), 12494; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912494 - 30 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 991
Abstract
Over 6.5 million commercial vehicle drivers were operating a large truck or bus in the United States in 2020. This career often has high stress and long working hours, with few opportunities for physical activity. Previous research has linked these factors to adverse [...] Read more.
Over 6.5 million commercial vehicle drivers were operating a large truck or bus in the United States in 2020. This career often has high stress and long working hours, with few opportunities for physical activity. Previous research has linked these factors to adverse health conditions. Adverse health conditions affect not only the professional drivers’ wellbeing but potentially also commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operators’ safe driving ability and public safety for others sharing the roadway. The prevalence of health conditions with high impact on roadway safety in North American CMV drivers necessitates empirical epidemiological research to better understand and improve driver health. The paper presents four challenges in conducting epidemiological research with truck and bus drivers in North America and potential resolutions identified in past and current research. These challenges include (1) the correlation between driving performance, driving experience, and driver demographic factors; (2) the impact of medical treatment status on the relationship between health conditions and driver risk; (3) capturing accurate data in self-report data collection methods; and (4) reaching the CMV population for research. These challenges are common and influential in epidemiological research of this population, as drivers face severe health issues, health-related federal regulations, and the impact of vehicle operation on the safety of themselves and others using the roadways. Full article
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