Driving a truck involves far more than just the long hours on the road. Even though truck drivers have a reputation for having the grit to drive thousands of miles to get to a destination on time, when they are injured on the job it can turn deadly. The combination of fatigue and the stress of meeting deadlines are often factors that contribute to catastrophic accidents.
Common injuries in the trucking industry
There are estimates that 40% of all deadly on-the-job accidents occur in the transportation sector, with tractor-trailer and heavy-truck operators sustaining the most fatal occupational injuries. Surprisingly, some of the most common injuries actually occur from accidents that happen during activities off the road.
Truckers face daily risks when they are engaged in activities like lifting and hauling heavy materials, as well as the effects to their bodies from driving activities. The four most common injuries are falls, trips, slips and overexertion that are caused by:
- Lifting while loading or unloading a truck
- Pushing and pulling items
- Getting in and out of the vehicle
- Poor posture from prolonged sitting while driving
Experts have identified preventable causes of many trucking accidents such as driver distraction, alcohol or drug consumption, driver fatigue and obstructive sleep apnea. In 2018, a safety research initiated by NIOSH examined safety and health issues in the transportation, warehousing and utilities sector, identifying strategies to reduce accident frequency across the transportation industry.
This agenda highlighted not only the above issues, but also the development of advanced technologies like collision warning, emergency braking and monitoring systems, and the implementation of fatigue management programs and procedures for loading, unloading and working on trucks.
Worker’s compensation in Texas
According to the FMCSA, in the 10 years between 2007 and 2017, the greatest number of crash fatalities involving large trucks occurred in the Lone Star State, as well as the greatest number involving large trucks and single and multiple-vehicle collisions.
For truck drivers injured either on or off the road, knowing what their employer will cover is very important. Worker’s compensation is not mandatory in private sector jobs in Texas, so the rules may be different regarding what types of injury, disability or other benefits are covered, as well as the caps on permanent disability or death compensation.
If the injury resulted from the negligence of the employer or a coworker, it is also possible to pursue compensation through the legal system. Consulting with skilled and aggressive representation serving Dallas and throughout Texas will inform you of your options.