BLACKSBURG, VA - Researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute in the Center for Truck and Bus Safety have created the "Driving Healthy" resource network for commercial motor vehicle drivers. 

Sponsored by the National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence, "Driving Healthy" provides practical and free health information and best practices for commercial vehicle drivers. 

The network was launched because truck driver health is an issue that affects the safety of the entire transportation system. Commercial truckers have a near-epidemic level of lifestyle-related health issues, including obesity and sleep apnea. 

What's more, drivers' health is related to their on-the road safety. For example, overweight drivers are less likely to wear a seatbelt, which, in the event of an accident, puts them at greater risk of injury. Additionally, as many as 28 percent of truck drivers have sleep apnea, a disorder that can cause drivers to fall asleep at the wheel and increases their risk of being involved in a crash. 

The Driving Healthy resource network addresses these challenges by providing truck drivers with tools that will help them maintain a healthy lifestyle. These tools include a collection of health resources, daily health and wellness tips, and forums for discussing health and wellness issues with other drivers. 

The Driving Healthy resource network can be found at the Driving Healthy Web site, Facebook page and Twitter site.