Commercial vehicle drivers often tout the benefits of the job: freedom, flexibility, and the ability to travel and see many parts of the United States. While these benefits are certainly enough to draw in eager drivers, there are also some hazards to this profession that drivers should be aware of.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), commercial truck drivers have one of the highest rates of illness and injury among all occupations. In 2017, commercial truck drivers accounted for 11% of all occupational fatalities. Truck drivers also have the third-highest rate of injury and illness compared to all other occupations.
What are Commercial Vehicle Driver Safety Hazards?
Commercial drivers face hazards due to both their role and the environment (i.e., the road). Some of the more common ones are:
Health Hazards: Lack of sleep and being on-the-go can be dangerous to a driver’s health. Some of the more common health hazards reported include:
- Sleep apnea
- High blood pressure
Highway Hazards: Truck accidents are a definite hazard. Two-fifths of all job-related highway fatalities are among commercial truck drivers. The most common factor in these accidents is speeding and driving too fast for weather condition. Large vehicles are also susceptible to dangers like potholes, slick surfaces, and curvy roads.
Maintenance Hazards: Commercial vehicle drivers are often responsible for general maintenance and making sure their truck gets repairs when necessary. Performing maintenance on the road can be dangerous, especially if the driver has to pull over and do maintenance near traffic. This puts the driver at risk of being hit by another vehicle or road debris.
General Safety Hazards: Commercial vehicle drivers often report job-related injuries due to their job and the cargo they carry. These injuries include:
- Sprains and strains
- Exposure to hazardous materials
- Back and neck injuries
It is vital that commercial vehicle drivers understand possible hazards and how to reduce the risk of illness, injury, or death. It is also fundamental for them to know how to get help if they do suffer an on-the-job injury. Call Guldjian & Fasel Accident Attorneys if you are an injured commercial vehicle driver that needs assistance.