Without knowing everything that goes into driving a truck, it may not seem like a particularly dangerous job. However, in 2015, 745 truck drivers suffered fatal injuries on the job, only a slight decrease compared to the 761 drivers in 2014. The U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that over 25 percent of all work-related fatalities involved individuals in trucking transportation occupations. Unfortunately, the industry is structured in a way that often forces drivers to put productivity ahead of safety.
As a result of the rise in online shopping, more people are relying on truck drivers to deliver their goods under very tight deadlines. This means that there are more trucks on the road, which increases the rate for extremely destructive workplace accidents. According to an Economics Sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania, truck drivers face potential danger every time they get behind the wheel because they have no control over their work environment. In addition, too often drivers feel pressure to avoid taking breaks in order to increase productivity.
Truck drivers must also deal with long hours, low pay, and working conditions that are not ideal. This leads to a high turnover rate and too many inexperienced drivers on the road, which causes the cycle to continue, reports an Associate Professor at Wayne State University. He also commented that the carriers are also to blame for many of the low pay issues and turnover because they operate on such tight margins.
How the Trucking Industry is Addressing Safety Issues
The trucking industry, including manufacturers and suppliers, are making improvements to technology that provide smarter, improved safety systems that help protect drivers to avoid accidents. According to the American Trucking Association (ATA), the number of truck accidents is 32 percent lower than it was in 1980, due to investments in safety technology and training. However, ATA Vice President of Public Affairs said that all drivers have a responsibility to be safe and follow the rules of the road.
Truck Driver Fatalities by Population
The following are truck accident statistics based on race, sex, and age:
Of the 745 driver fatalities on the job, 669 were men
Approximately 67 percent of drivers fatally injured were white, followed by African Americans at 12.6 percent, Hispanic or Latino at 11.1 percent, Asians at two percent, and Native Americans or other races at one percent
The following is a breakdown of total truck fatalities of drivers by age:
– 45 to 54 (26.3 percent)
– 55 to 65 (25 percent)
– 35 to 44 (18.5 percent)
– 25 to 34 (12 percent)
– 65 and older (11 percent)
– 20 and 24 (two percent)
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Injured Truck Drivers
If you are a truck driver and you have been injured on the job, do not hesitate to contact the experienced Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We are committed to protecting the rights of injured workers and we will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the maximum benefits you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.