The economy of the state of South Carolina depends on its owner operator truck drivers to deliver the supplies, goods, fuel, and food that its population requires. These drivers are entrepreneurs running their own businesses. While there’s great satisfaction to be had, the owner operator faces many sacrifices and challenges. They work long hours and often spend days or weeks away from their families. In addition, they face two basic challenges: the risk of injury and financial risk.
The Owner Operator’s Injury Risks
Because owner operator truck drivers in South Carolina spend so much time on the road, their risk of injury from traffic accidents are higher than that of most desk bound workers. They must drive day or night in all types of traffic and road conditions. Accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. The distracted, aggressive, or drunk driver that truckers share the road with present one challenge. Another challenge is fatigue from the owner operator’s many hours on the road that slows their reaction times, reduces their alertness, and their ability to process information.
As an owner operator, you can lower this risk by driving defensively, keeping up with rig maintenance, and getting adequate rest. Avoid cell phone use and other distractions. At the first signs of fatigue or drowsiness, take a break at a rest stop. A nap followed by some coffee is highly effective.
The owner operator also faces injury risks when performing their off-road work. These include:
- Musculoskeletal problems caused by lifting boxes, containers, and other types of cargo during the loading and unloading process.
- Injuries from falls on stairs, falls in shipping and receiving areas, falls while entering or exiting their truck, and from the trailer.
- Getting struck by falling boxes and containers.
The driver can reduce the risk of these types of injuries by getting assistance from others, using proper lifting technique, using lifting aids, and staying alert.
The Owner Operator’s Financial Risks
Besides personal injury, traffic accidents invariably cause damage to the owner operator’s rig and cargo. Severe damage to the rig can end the owner operator’s livelihood, while cargo damage exposes the driver to a lawsuit from the client. Damage can also happen to the rig while it’s parked off the road. Traffic accidents open the possibility of getting sued by the other parties involved. The litigants may demand compensation for property damage, injuries, or wrongful death.
You can manage the risk of financial ruin by getting proper coverage with the right rig insurance carrier. If you are looking for owner operator insurance in South Carolina with affordable rates, contact us at J.E.B. Insurance Services, LLC.