Although it may not seem like it, truck drivers suffer more fatalities than any other occupation in the United States. Tractor-trailer drivers account for one of every six workers killed on the job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They also are three times more likely to experience non-fatal injuries or illness. Even though 78 percent of fatalities were caused by transportation incidents, it is not the only cause of truck driver injury.
Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers have the highest number of nonfatal injuries, and ones that typically require significant time off work to recover. What is the culprit of these injuries? In addition to truck accidents, injuries to drivers can be caused by:
- A slip or trip and fall
- Lifting heavy items while loading or unloading the truck
- Pushing and pulling heavy containers
- Getting in and out of the truck
- Prolonged sitting, often with bad posture
When truck drivers get hurt on the job, it also takes them longer than other types of workers to recover. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that it took half of all truck drivers an average of 20 days to return to work, compared to the average of nine days for other workers.
In many ways, these statistics speak to the severity of truck driver injuries, and the importance for receiving workers' compensation benefits and medical coverage. Injured truck drivers may want the help of an experienced workers' compensation attorney to ensure they receive full benefits. Additionally, surviving family members of truck drivers who have been killed may wish to seek survivor benefits.