Truck driving is a dangerous job. In 2015, more than 25 percent of all workplace fatalities in America occurred in the trucking industry. So, what exactly makes this such a dangerous occupation?
- Pay structure. Because truck drivers are often paid by the mile, not by the hour, they are forced to choose between productivity and safety. New regulations are addressing this problem by requiring the installation of electronic logging devices. This will allow federal regulators to view tamper-proof electronic data instead of relying on paper logs maintained by the truck driver himself or herself.
- Turnover. Long hours, low pay, and tough working conditions have caused turnover among truck drivers to remain near 100 percent. This means that truck drivers on the roadway are almost always inexperienced.
- Safety equipment. Despite the fact that airbags are legally required in all passenger vehicles, they are not required in medium and heavy-duty trucks. This places a truck driver at greater risk of injury or death when a collision occurs.
- Location, location, location. Truck drivers inevitably spend time at truck stops. This makes them more prone to physical violence and crime – especially if they are carrying valuable cargo.
- Speaking of cargo…dangerous chemicals, like any other product, are distributed by commercial trucks. Truck drivers face even more risk when their cargo contains petroleum, mining chemicals, or other flammable materials.
- Don’t underestimate the physical demands of the job. Many people picture truck drivers sitting in a cab all day, rarely moving. But the fact is that truck drivers are often required to load and unload heavy cargo. It is also easy to forget that simply getting in and out of the raised cab can be a strenuous activity, which is repeated many times each day.
There are many risks faced by those employed in the trucking industry. Some can be controlled (such as sleepiness and general health), while others are unavoidable (such as other drivers on the roadway or the dangerousness of the cargo you are hauling). Take precautions to ensure you and your equipment are as safe as possible. And as always, make sure that you are constantly aware of your surroundings while on the road.
Contact an Experienced Houston Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you have been involved in a truck accident because of dangerous working conditions, contact Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law. Our experienced team will ensure that your case is pursued aggressively and that you receive the compensation you deserve. Call 800-898-4877 to schedule your free consultation.