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With the holiday weekend coming up, professional drivers should be extra cautious and aware of their surroundings. FreightWatch International and CargoNet have each issued warnings, along with recommendations to carriers and drivers regarding annual increase cargo theft activity during the Memorial Day weekend. In 2015, the firm saw a record-high cargo theft incidents averaging more than $600,000 in value in the last four years, 98 cargo theft have occurred during the same weekend.

CargoNet shared some best practices for drivers working over the holiday weekend:

  • Secure all trailers both loaded and unloaded with a lock. When parking for the night, back the trailer up to a fence or light pole where the doors can’t be opened.
  • Avoid stopping immediately after you pick up the load or trailer. They recommend driving at least 200 miles before stopping.
  • Make sure you arrive at the customer well rested, showered and full fuel tank. Keep an eye on your surroundings and trust your instinct. If something looks out of place, err on the side caution.
  • Never leave your truck unlocked and unattended. Remove all keys and make sure trailer is locked before you leave the equipment.

 

 

 

If you have experienced a traumatic event, you might feel anxious, depressed or even just not your normal self. According to the Mayo Clinic, all of those feelings are perfectly normal. Experiencing symptoms that are common for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) does not automatically mean that you have PTSD. Typically, with time and taking proper care of yourself, those symptoms disappear. In fact, PTSD can develop up to a year after the initial event occurred.

Due to the delay in the display of symptoms, doctors recommend keeping a list and close eye on how you’re feeling. If you notice your symptoms worsen or persist for a length of time, contact your health care professional . There are many different treatments available for those diagnosed with PTSD.

Therapy

Counseling or therapy allows you to talk about what you’re feeling in a safe environment. A therapist can help you work through your different emotions and positively deal with the trauma you may have experienced. If you are a veteran, Veteran Affairs (VA) is a good resource to see what benefits are available for you. Due to the nature of the career, you may prefer an option like calling a hotline, which is a little more flexible.

Medication

There are a variety of medicines available to help control your depression or anxiety. When you first go see your health care professional , they will most likely ask you a series of questions about the event so they can determine what the best treatment option is.

 

The effects of having PTSD can extend to your family and friends if left untreated. Contact your health care professional  if you have any questions.

 

 

 

 

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental illness that is caused from being exposed to a trauma. While PTSD is most commonly associated with those with a military background, it can be caused from any traumatic experience, including the following:

  • Sudden death of a loved one
  • Assault
  • Kidnapping
  • Car or plane crashes

This observation was recently supported by recent article in Fleet Owner called “Underreported: Drivers not seeking help for mental health issues. “The PTSD that we’re going to see more of is really about witnessing violence, being part of violence, witnessing traumatic events on the road. PTSD episodes can be triggered by more time on the road. We hear PTSD and we think war and veterans coming back from conflicts and that’s a problem,” said Mona Shattell, Professor and Chairperson, Community Systems and Mental Health Nursing at Rush University’s College of Nursing. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are four types of symptoms and can appear up to three months after the initial event (listed below).

Avoidance

While two different people can experience the exact same event, like a car accident, they may process those feelings in very different ways. Avoiding the place where the event occurred or people that were involved or remind you of the event is normal and even talking about the event itself is even normal. However, if you still are having difficulty going back to a normal routine and talking about those events, it may be a symptom of PTSD.

Negative changes in thinking and mood

This symptom refers to big personality changes like negative feelings about yourself or other people, inability to experience positive emotions or lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed. Other symptoms include memory problems and difficulty maintaining close relationships.

Changes in emotional reactions

These are also called arousal symptoms and include the following:

Irritability, angry outbursts or aggressive behavior

  • Always being on guard for danger
  • Overwhelming guilt or shame
  • Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much or driving too fast
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Being easily startled or frightened

Intrusive memories

Intrusive memories are things like reliving the traumatic event as if it were happening again or having dreams about the event. Experiencing severe emotional distress or even physical reactions to something that reminds you of the event is something you need to take seriously.

As mentioned earlier, PTSD symptoms can vary depending on the individual. It is normal to be anxious or depressed after a traumatic event, but if those feelings persist you should call your health professional.