The truck industry is an important essential service in the United States, and truckers must face daily risks when they are at work, driving long hours on the road and lifting or hauling heavy materials. Because of the sheer size of their vehicles and the nature of the loads they carry, when an accident does occur it can cause catastrophic injury and death.
What are the most common injuries to truckers?
Because of the many hazards of truck driving, this line of work is one of the more dangerous private industry jobs in the United States. It is estimated that 40% of all deadly on-the-job accidents happen in the transportation industry, and heavy-truck and tractor-trailer operators sustain the most fatal occupational injuries.
Some of the most common injuries are actually from accidents that happen with activities when the trucker is not on the road, however. The four most common causes of injury to truckers are slips, trips, falls and overexertion, caused when the trucker is:
- Lifting large items while loading or unloading the truck
- Pushing and pulling items
- Getting in and out of the truck
- Sitting for long periods with poor posture while driving
In addition, the National Transportation Safety Board (NSTB) has targeted the most common and preventable causes of truck accidents while on the road, such as driver fatigue or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), driver distraction, and alcohol or drug consumption.
In 2018, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) initiated a research agenda to identify strategies to reduce accident frequency in the transportation industry. Some solutions included the development of collision warning, emergency braking and monitoring systems, as well as implementing fatigue management programs to create procedures for loading unloading and working on trucks.
How at risk are New York truck drivers?
New York was among the top ten states with the highest average of fatal large truck and bus crashes from 2014 to 2016, accounting for 51% of all fatal crashes involving at least one large truck or bus.
When a truck driver is injured while driving his rig, moving equipment or unloading heavy loads, knowing what their employer and their worker’s compensation will cover is very important. Serious injury can result in prolonged recovery and disability. If your injury was due to the negligence of another driver, the employer or a coworker, it is possible to recover damages in a liability claim. Seeking experienced legal counsel will keep you informed of your options.