Health is wealth as we all know, how ironic is it that the cars you acquire with your wealth can come back around and poses health hazards to you?
It's a good thing that the pros of driving a car outweigh the Cons but still, we can't ignore these cons because of its high importance to our healthy living.
The health hazards of driving can be heavily controlled and in this article, we are learning about the causes which are bad driving habits and how to control these health hazards that driving causes to drivers.
These health hazards are not limited to a certain kind of car but the level of danger depends on the type of car and the only cars that don't cause any health problem to drivers are self-driving cars which are not yet fully in production because the technology and innovation are still undergoing it's development stages.
What are the health hazards of driving?
Number 1 health hazard of driving: Neck, back, and shoulder pain
This is mostly caused because drivers stay in one particular position for too long while extending the neck and using the arms and upper body which is the definition of driving.
Man having chronic back pain from driving too long in a bad position
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Also, the vibrations from a car when it drives on a rough Nigerian road causes the neck to get displaced abruptly which then takes a toll on the neck as sharp pains. The control measures to these hazards are very simple to practise and it goes thus:
a) Driving in the correct driving position to reduce the stress on every part of the body. What is the correct position for driving?
- Your knees must be slightly bent when pressing the gas pedal.
- A small gap should be between the back of your knee and the beginning of the car's seat.
- Your hips and knee must be on the same level horizontally.
- The angle between your back and thighs must be a little more than 90 degrees.
- Your head must be vertically inclined to the line of your back...use the headrest to achieve this by making sure it touches the middle of the back of your head.
Here is a well-detailed guide from Jaguar on how to sit in a car that would change your life forever:
b) Use a pillow to achieve lumbar support in case your car's seat doesn't have this function. Place the pillow between the seat and your back so that your spine can be resting comfortably while you drive.
c) Use neck support once you start noticing neck pains after driving.
d) Drive gently around rough/bad roads to reduce the shocks that your body has to overcome. When you go slowly on bad roads, not only your body is benefitting from this. Your car also gets to stay in a healthy condition.
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- Hazardous health effects from exhaust fumes
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Number 2 health hazard of driving: Cramps
Cramps come from poor circulation of blood around the body because the driver is in one position that has hindered the normal rate at which blood flows around the body. The driver starts to feel numb and there is only one way to avoid this aside from a healthy driving position that you just saw.
Sitting for too long causes leg cramps
After two hours of driving, drivers need to park for nothing less than 5 minutes taking a stroll around the car to help the body rejuvenate.
Most supercars have seating positions that make drivers get cramps even faster so in these cars, you need to take a pause on throttling and get down every hour to get a proper blood circulation.
Number 3 health hazard of driving: Hearing problems
A lot of young drivers like to drive with high volume music because it feels like the right way to have fun while driving. Loud music in a car generates a lot of sound waves that affect the hearing ability of the driver and the passengers. Over time, drivers that are always playing loud music in cars start getting partially deaf without even knowing because their body is adapting to the new level of audibility of their ears.
The only way to prevent this is by staying below 70% of the maximum volume a car can give. The only way maximum volume won't be harmful is when there is nobody in the car and it is just for say a social gathering where music is needed to spice things up.
Number 4 health hazard of driving: Spinal disc degeneration and herniation
This mostly happens to occupational drivers of heavy machinery like trucks and tankers. Heavy trucks have a lot of vibrations that the driver gets to experience for very long periods because of how slow these trucks move on the road. Truckers drive for over 3 days sometimes moving goods across states in Nigeria.
Vibrations from bad roads in Nigeria are a vital cause of spinal disc degeneration and herniation
This is a very serious driving hazard that needs a lot of professional control by both the drivers and a health practitioner. A regular check-up needs to be done by occupational drivers at standard health facilities around the countries monitoring the health of the spine every month.
Also, there is a common bad habit amongst occupational drivers which is abusive smoking and consumption of alcohol. This makes the body more vulnerable by constricting the blood vessels that carry nutrients to the discs and decreases the rebuilding capability of the spinal discs.
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Number 5 health hazard of driving: Increase in blood pressure
There are many ways to handle this anxiety rather than looking for a cure to high blood pressure. Carpooling with familiar people can help you relax as you drive and bring up topics that can be discussed in the car.
It might be a surprise but driving does cause higher blood pressure to motorists
The best driver on the road is the one that is calm and very aware.
I hope you would start a safe driving habit by looking into these health hazards of driving? Without good health, you won't be able to drive more cars. There is a popular Kevin Hart movie "The Upside" where his boss had all the cars in the world but couldn't drive them because of a spinal condition he had.