When you think of the deadliest jobs in America, trucking is typically not the first thing to come to mind. Your mind may go to mining or oil & gas drilling. But it turns out that transportation – specifically, transport by truck – is significantly more dangerous than most industries.
Trucks are not only dangerous for their own drivers, but for any other drivers they encounter on the road. As such, truck drivers have a greater level of responsibility to be safe than most other people on the road. They are responsible for their safety, their cargo, and the safety of others on the road. This is a big responsibility that should not be taken lightly.
According to the data released by the National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, more than one of every seven work-related deaths was directly related to heavy-duty trucking. The data suggest there was an increase from the previous year. In 2019, there had been 843 trucker deaths, which were 1.4 percent higher than the previous year which had 831 trucker deaths. There has been an uptick in trucker deaths since 2015 where the numbers had previously been falling off.
When you consider light-duty truck drivers, the fatalities rise to a whopping 1,005 deaths. The trends cannot be fully discussed at this moment since data for this category only began to be collected in 2003.
Why are truckers dying?
Truckers die for a lot of reasons. Road infrastructure can play a role in creating dangerous situations for truck drivers. So can defective truck parts. Perhaps the greatest risk, though, is poor health.
Trucking is a sedentary job and often necessitates grabbing food on the go. This can contribute to obesity, which in turn contributed to heart disease. According to Corporate Wellness Magazine, “more than 50 percent of truck drivers are obese, compared to the national rate of 26.7 percent. Compared to the general population, the prevalence of diabetes is 50 percent higher and 87 percent of truck drivers have hypertension or pre-hypertension, compared to the national average of 58.3 percent.”
Passenger vehicles are being equipped with more and more assistive technology to help everyday drivers get from point A to point B. However, a lot of this technology is not being implemented into trucks. This means that truck drivers have no assistive tech to help them maneuver these excessively large vehicles around. The implementation of features like blind spot warnings, forward collision alerts, and more can make a drastic difference in how truck drivers stay safe on the road.
Another factor that is cause for some contention is driver impairment. Drivers are under insurmountable amounts of stress and this can lead some of them to resort to drugs and alcohol. Although drug and alcohol tests are conducted prior to employment, some truckers begin to use them after beginning their employment. Another major cause of driver impairment is fatigue.
Truckers often work long hours and may be anxious to get to their destination. They may not get as much rest as is recommended, causing them to fall asleep at the wheel or drive while fatigued. Sleep deprivation, especially in the long-term, can lead to poor health and memory issues.
Truckers are not the only ones in danger
Although we are focusing on truck driver deaths, we must also keep in mind that they are not the only ones who fall victim to the trucking industry. Hauling such a large vehicle across states means being in the vicinity of other vehicles on the road.
Oftentimes, truck drivers may be driving impaired or making an error that can lead to a traffic collision. If your vehicle is involved in an accident with a heavy-duty truck the chances are high that there will be severe injuries and even death. More often than not, the passenger vehicle will be left unrecognizable.
When you consider other dangerous jobs, they typically do not involve the possible injury of another person. Those dangerous jobs are isolated and do not typically cause harm to others around them, although they can. In 2018, it was reported that 4,678 people who had been involved in a collision with a large truck died as a result.
What kinds of injuries are caused by truck accidents?
Trucks carry tons of weight on our roadways, while some are smaller and stay local others may come from out of state with much larger loads. These trucks share the same roads as passenger vehicles, motorcycles, and sometimes pedestrians. Due to their size, they can be harder to maneuver and cannot make instant or drastic moves like smaller cars can. This means that a truck accident may be unavoidable. Some injuries that can occur if you are involved in a truck accident involving:
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Crushing injuries resulting in limb loss
- Chronic pain
All of these injuries will require long-term medical treatment and can alter your life entirely.
If you are hurt or your loved one dies as a result of a truck accident in Chicago, you may feel helpless after a truck accident. After all, you are just one person going against a large truck company. However, you do not need to live in fear. Our team is prepared to take on the big truck companies to fight for justice for you. Once you have received medical treatment, it is imperative that you contact Gainsberg Law P.C. in Chicago at 312-600-9585, so you can schedule your free consultation. Or, you can complete the contact form to schedule an appointment. We represent clients throughout Cook County.
Neal S. Gainsberg has spent the last 20 years fighting to protect the rights of the injured in Chicago and throughout Illinois. From consumer rights and bankruptcy to catastrophic injuries and wrongful death, Mr. Gainsberg stands up to large corporations, insurance companies, creditors and hospital administrators to ensure that his clients’ futures are safe and secure. Learn More