Roadway accidents are the biggest reasons for injuries and fatalities, especially when it comes to occupational injuries. With over half a million trucks on the highway every day, it isn’t surprising that injuries in the trucking industry account for millions of dollars of workers’ compensation annually. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2012 the rates of both fatal and nonfatal injuries and illnesses in truck drivers was higher than the average of all other private industries. Trucking accidents can often be devastating, with severe injuries that prevent the trucker from working. If you are a trucking industry employee that has been injured in a trucking accident, you may qualify for workers’ compensation. Speak to a qualified workers’ compensation attorney to find out more about what benefits are available.
Common InjuriesAccidents in the trucking industry may lead to a variety of injuries, including:
- Cuts and lacerations;
- Sprains and strains;
- Spinal, brain, or other traumatic injuries; and
Reasons For Trucking Accidents & PreventionAccidents are almost an inevitable part of driving and even the safest drivers will likely be in an accident at least once. For truckers, the chances are much higher given their jobs require them to do more driving in a single day than most people do in a whole week. A majority of accidents, however, are preventable, including the top reasons trucking accidents happen:
- Reckless or careless driving – This includes speeding and unsafe acceleration or deceleration, distracted driving, improper braking, and many other behaviors both on the part of truck drivers and other motorists.
- Driver fatigue – Many truck drivers spend hours driving without sleeping or taking breaks, leading to driver fatigue. Because delivery times are sensitive, companies often turn a blind eye to overworked drivers.
- Cargo shifting or improperly loaded trucks – While there are many regulations in place to ensure safe load weights, companies and drivers often ignore these rules. Excess weight significantly reduces a driver’s ability to safely maneuver the vehicle.
- Poor maintenance and repair work – Maintenance and repair work is particularly important as vehicles cover thousands of miles, but many companies cut corners or completely neglect their trucks.
- Substance abuse – Alcohol and other drug abuse accounts for a significant number of accidents in the trucking industry.
- Be properly rested;
- Eat healthy to stay alert;
- Drive defensively, keep distance, and stay within speed limits;
- Wear a seatbelt; and
- Maintain their truck.