The dangers of working in the trucking industry

Working in trucking—specifically as a driver—has consistently been ranked as one of the most difficult jobs to have in the United States.

Considering the physical requirements that come with the job—being away from family and being essentially stationary for hours at a time—it has become a difficult job to fill.

While strides have been made to improve conditions, there are just some factors that can’t be simply resolved with legislation or further regulations like the ELD mandate.

Being on the road, drivers are at risk of accidents, injuries, and illnesses. Whether it’s caused by an unforeseen accident or getting sick from living an unhealthy lifestyle by necessity, there are a plethora of ways for truckers’ lives to be threatened.

Just driving

It’s sad to say, but truck drivers’ lives can be in danger from just doing their job and being on the road.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, trucking was the most dangerous occupation in 2018.

Per the BLS report, which uses workplace fatalities as a primary means for its methodology, trucking had 28 deaths per 100,000 full-time-equivalent workers. 

Additionally, drivers can often be put in compromised positions. Consider this: because of pushy carriers, shippers, and receivers, or just because of a need for income, some drivers feel the need to drive in dangerous conditions.

When driving in the wintertime, especially in places with heavy snowfall and icy roads, truckers can be in danger. Highway pile-ups can be commonplace at that time of year, which constantly puts truckers and their equipment at risk. 

Even outside of wintertime, just being on the road at night can be dangerous. There is a multitude of factors outside of a driver’s control that can be dangerous such as drunk drivers or distracted drivers.

In addition to that, truck malfunctions can also be life-threatening. If there is something faulty in an engine or with the tires, it can end in chaos for truckers.

While these aren’t constant fears that people should be having—many of this is not common—it should be taken into consideration when looking into the trucking industry. 

Health issues

Trucking, just by virtue of being perpetually stationary along with not having access to home-cooked meals, leads to drivers living unhealthy lifestyles. 

In fact, according to Orlando DOT Physicals, working in trucking alone contributes to truckers having a life expectancy that is 16 years lower than the national average. 

In a study conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it found that truck drivers tend to have high blood pressure, diabetes, be obese, smoke cigarettes, and do little physical activity. 

The thing is, in some instances, it isn’t even that the drivers want to live unhealthy lives. More often than not, they don’t really have a choice. 

Truckers’ biggest concern is not being healthy—it’s making money and putting food on the table for their families. Nonetheless, perhaps more can be done to warn truckers of the effects of sitting in a truck for hours at a time.

In addition to poor dietary decisions and little physical activity, truckers also tend not to get quality rest which only aggravates the aforementioned health issues. 

All-in-all, there are plenty of dangers in trucking that make the job difficult. Nevertheless, it’s still a line of work that provides workers with little education and experience with good pay and allows them to provide for their families. 

So, what do you think about the dangers of the industry? Let us know in the comments or on social media!

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