The life of a trucker isn’t for everyone, and it definitely has specific occupational risks that are unique to the trade.
What are the most serious risks truckers face on a daily basis? Is there anything that can be done to mitigate those risks?
Accidents on the road
An accident in a truck isn’t like an accident in a passenger vehicle — there’s way more momentum and force involved. Truckers account for about 40 percent of work-related fatalities on the road.
The number one thing you can do to avoid becoming part of that statistic is to slow down. Speeding accounts for over 20 percent of fatal trucking wrecks.
Occupational hazards to your health
As an occupation, trucking doesn’t exactly include a lot of aerobic exercise and truckers tend to struggle with conditions like high blood pressure, obesity, depression and sleep apnea. In fact, nearly 30 percent of truckers suffer from sleep apnea — which can be fatal if left untreated.
The best thing you can do to prevent or control any of these conditions is to make a little time for exercise. Regular exercise can help keep your weight down, lower blood pressure and raise endorphin levels that help with depression.
The next best thing you can do is see your doctor on a regular basis. You need to be proactive about your medical care in order to stay on the road and stay alive.
Safety dangers of other kinds
Truckers face general safety dangers both on and off the road:
- Repetitive stress injuries are a common problem related to the loading and unloading of the trucks.
- Truckers who have to pull off to the side of the road to sleep for a while might find themselves harassed and their cargo in danger from would-be thieves.
- Inadequately trained dock workers put truckers at risk when they don’t load a truck properly.
Truckers just have to be vigilant. Never trust the safety of your cargo — or your truck — to someone else. Always have your own checklist to go through and always inspect how the load is packed to make sure that the weight is evenly distributed and everything is secured.
If you’re a trucker who was injured while on the job, you have a right to workers’ compensation. If you’re having difficulty making a claim, an attorney can help.
Source: Getloaded.com, “The Top 5 Trucking Industry Hazards … And How to Avoid Them,” Oct. 20, 2017