The Most Dangerous Job in America: Truck Drivers

When you think of the most dangerous jobs in America, police officers and firefighters would be at the top of the list for many people. But according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, truck drivers encounter even greater risk than many would expect. In 2014, 761 truck drivers died while on the job, making it the fifth year in a row that truck driver fatalities were high.  In fact, the majority of truck driver deaths were caused by transportation accidents. Between 2013 and 2014, there were 1,166 transportation accidents related to truck drivers. The high rates of accidents each year involving truck drivers has increased the awareness that truck drivers have the most dangerous job in America.

If you’re still not convinced that truck drivers have the most dangerous job in America, here are a few statistical highlights to help put the dangers of truck driving into perspective.

  • Truck drivers have the highest number of fatal injuries among any occupation.
  • Truck drivers have the highest number of nonfatal injuries and illnesses that result in drivers needing days off work.
  • A total of 55,710 truck drivers had nonfatal injuries and illnesses that resulted in missed work days in 2014.
  • 1 in 20 truck drivers account for nonfatal injury and illness cases that require time away from work.
  • Truck drivers are ranked 6th among the list of top occupations with the highest incident rates of nonfatal injuries and illnesses that result in missed work days.
  • Truck drivers are three times more likely to experience nonfatal injuries and illnesses.

Even though truck drivers are involved in more fatal injury accidents, recovery from the nonfatal injuries and illnesses is what leads to them being off work for extended periods of time.  When a truck driver is injured on the job, the time needed to recover before returning back to work is a lot longer than other occupations.  For instance:

  • Truck drivers need at least twenty days off before returning to work after an incident, compared to other occupations in which the average worker returned to work nine days after an incident.
  • Forty-two percent of the truck drivers who required time off work missed thirty-one days or more after being injured.

According to the Transportation Department, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will be working to decrease the number and the severity of the transportation accidents involving commercial trucks on the nation’s public highways and roads. There may not be much a company can do to reduce nonfatal injuries such as musculoskeletal disorders, but they can start now by reducing the number of fatal injuries that are caused by transportation accidents.

To get ahead of workplace injuries before they happen, contact Johnston & Associates for a safety review of your trucking operations. Our firm will provide your company with a designated safety consultant with expertise in your industry. Your safety consultant will work to tailor a safety system to meet your organization’s needs, such as our defensive driving safety system. Call (615) 373-0500 for additional information and questions.

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