If you’re a truck driver or someone with friends or family who drives trucks, you know the risks they face on the road every day are significant. Truckers have some of the highest rates of workers’ comp because of the inherent danger of their jobs. In terms of raw numbers, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health reported that in 2016, there were 486 fatal work accidents involving heavy trucks, trailers, and other large vehicles. Of these accidents, 284 were from COIs—collisions involving an automobile.
And 134 were non-COIs – meaning some other kind of accident happened to cause the collision. It doesn’t end there; as you will see below, truck drivers have many other risks they must contend with every time they get behind the wheel. As such, if you know anyone who drives a big rig or has aspirations to do so one day, this article is for you!
The Dangers of Being a Trucker
There are many different kinds of risks that truck drivers face on the road. Some of these are inherent due to the nature of driving large vehicles on the road, while others are due to the behavior of other drivers on the road. When it comes to inherent risks, the sheer size of the truck and the amount of cargo that it carries is enough to get most drivers’ attention.
Heavy loads and cargo can cause a truck to be too top-heavy and tip over at times. This can lead to serious injuries for drivers and passengers, as well as damage to property around the truck. Heavy loads can also cause the frame of the truck to become overstressed, which could cause it to break and affect the driver’s ability to control the vehicle. This can lead to serious accidents if the driver can’t control the truck properly.
If the truck is carrying liquid cargo, there is always the risk that it could leak and spill onto the road, potentially causing a serious accident. If a truck is carrying corrosive materials, there is also the risk of the cargo causing serious damage to the truck if it leaks out.
Heavy loads and cargo lead to serious injuries.
In addition to the inherent risks mentioned above, heavy loads and cargo can lead to serious injuries in truck drivers if they get into an accident. If the truck is carrying heavy loads, likely, the driver will not be able to wear the proper safety equipment.
If the driver is not wearing the proper safety equipment and the truck gets into an accident, the driver could end up suffering serious injuries. This is especially true if the driver is not wearing a seat belt and gets thrown out of the truck. Heavy cargo can also end up injuring truck drivers in the event of an accident. If the cargo is loose, there is the risk that it could break free during the accident and injure the driver.
Tight quarters put drivers at risk.
Drivers in larger trucks have to contend with the dangers of tight quarters. This is true both when a truck is being loaded and when it is parked on the side of the road, whether in traffic or at rest. Truckers often have to load and unload their cargo while they are driving down the road.
This is dangerous because if another car or driver runs into the truck, the trucker may be unable to get out of the way in time. In addition, many trucks have small cabins and limited space for storing cargo. This can make it difficult for truckers to navigate their trucks and maneuver around their cargo.
Even once you’ve parked, you’re not safe.
Even when a truck is parked, it may be at risk. This is especially true if the truck is parked on a public road in the path of other cars or near other heavy vehicles. When truckers park their trucks, they are not always in control of the situation. Trucks that are parked on the side of the road can get hit by other cars.
In addition, they are often parked close to other vehicles that are on the road, such as cars and other commercial vehicles. These other vehicles can back up into the truck, causing a serious accident. Trucks at rest can also be the target of thieves. Truckers often leave their cabs open, making it easy for thieves to break into their trucks and steal cargo.
Speeding and other negligent behaviors can be fatal.
One of the most serious risks that truck drivers face is the fact that other drivers may be driving negligently. Truckers sometimes have to travel long distances to reach their destination. At times, they have to drive long hours to meet deadlines. This can put truck drivers at risk of falling asleep while driving, which can be fatal. To combat this, truck drivers often have to be on a special schedule or take sleep aids.
If truck driver is not properly rested, they can cause serious accidents while they are on the road. In addition, some truck drivers are not careful and drive too fast, putting themselves at risk of getting into an accident. When a driver is speeding, they often do not have enough time to react to an accident, which can lead to fatalities.
Bottom line: You need a truck accident lawyer.
In short, truck drivers face serious risks every time they get behind the wheel. With so many dangers out there, it’s no surprise that truck drivers are at a high risk of workers’ comp. This is why it is so important for truck drivers to have a good attorney on their side. A good truck accident attorney will be able to walk you through the process of filing for workers’ comp and help you get the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.