Truck driving has seen a rapid spike in driver fatalities over the past few years, and the both the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration regularly use truck driving as an example as one of the United States’ deadliest jobs for a variety of reasons.
What are the reasons for the high crash-related fatalities?
Experts aren’t sure whether they’re due more to equipment and road problems or human error, but almost every potential factor is in play. Some industry experts cite the roads: investment in infrastructure isn’t where it should be, and that trend shows no sign of slowing. Whether it’s over-crowded roads, county roads that have poor visibility and non-existent shoulders, or small margins for error as trailers outgrow road dimensions, slowed development and road improvements can take a share of the blame.
But there’s also a new safety concern, and that’s the rapidly increasing demand for smaller shipments. Online commerce and single-day shipping are transforming the trucking industry in ways that aren’t fully understood. But what is clear is that more and more new drivers are on the road with different sizes of smaller loads and no time to waste. When name-brand reputation hinges on getting the delivery date right, the incentives (and the penalties) come into conflict with safety.
What about other deaths and dangers?
Crashes aren’t the only concern. As drivers have to pull over into unknown truck stops and empty lots to comply with stricter regulations, they’re increasingly vulnerable to robbery and violent crime. Drivers have reported feeling steadily less safe since 2012. There are also long-lasting health impacts of life on the road, such as the effects of poor diet, restricted movement, and inconsistent sleep schedules.
While it’s impossible to mitigate all of the risks associated with driving, it’s important to know about them. Keeping regional crash statistics, health information, and more in mind can help you decide which jobs aren’t worth the risk and what changes you want to make in your own lifestyle. Go to J.E.B. Insurance Services, LLC. for regular news about truckers’ health and safety, and to find better coverage. We provide commercial truck insurance in the states of Florida, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska.