According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, tractor-trailer and other heavy truck drivers have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses for all jobs. The Dangers of Trucking jobs face many dangers of trucking out on the road, but the lifestyle of a truck driver can also be hazardous. Learn more about the hazards truckers face and how insurance can protect your drivers and fleet.
Weather Conditions Creating Problems on the Road
One of the issues in the trucking industry is that there are so many things outside of your control. Semi trucks on ice can be deadly, due to just the sheer size and inability to control the trailer in a slide. Other drivers on the road often don’t slow down for traffic conditions, which puts semi drivers at risk. In the summer, roads become more heavily congested, which makes for more accidents. Distracted and frustrated drivers create more hazards on the road.
Truck Driver Fatigue and Pressure
Truck drivers spend a long time sitting in the vehicle, which can cause fatigue. Even though truck drivers have regulations to take breaks and not drive more than 11 hours within their 14-hour window of work time, drivers may feel pressured to keep pushing and only take breaks when the clock forces them to. It is better for drivers to take a break when they need to be refreshed. Companies that push drivers to stay on task and get to their destination ahead of schedule can make it dangerous for the driver and other vehicles on the road.
Truck driver face many tasks as part of their job. They may need to place a tarp over a load of cargo, which necessitates crawling on top of the trailer. Walking on the trailer deck isn’t always safe footing. Some truckers must deliver or park in unsafe areas, which puts them at risk. When a truck gets a flat tire or hits an animal, it can be hazardous for the driver. Sometimes, parking lots can be a problem. Truck stops where it’s safe to park can be full, leaving drivers to park in places that aren’t safe.
Health Issues for Truck Drivers
Besides the dangers of trucking roads, truck drivers face many health problems. Many truck drivers smoke, which is bad enough and increases the risk of hypertension and obesity. Being overweight is a big problem for truck drivers, simply because of a lack of exercise. It can also be hard to eat well as a truck driver. Often, there isn’t time to find a healthy option, but it may be difficult to keep healthy snacks in the truck. Truck drivers also have a high risk of lung problems from smoking and inhaling diesel fumes.
Truck drivers are often away from their friends and family for long periods of time. Although cell phones have certainly made it easier to stay connected, some drivers become depressed because they don’t get enough human interaction. Team drivers can suffer from stress because of conflict between two people forced to abide in a small space without separation. This all takes a toll on the physical health of a driver.
High Turnover Causing Stress
Stressed employees are a huge risk for all employers, but especially trucking companies. It causes drivers to quit, which requires the company to bring on new drivers quickly. This can often mean that drivers don’t get sufficiently trained on the equipment and policies, putting everyone on the road at risk. Lack of experience can also make drivers less aware of what is going on when they are driving. Many companies have a high turnover rate, which makes it one of the dangers of trucking on the road. Stressed drivers can be distracted, leading to more accidents when behind the wheel.
Truck Drivers Need Support
Although many risks associated with truck driving cannot be prevented, insurance can cover the financial loss. But good companies know to treat drivers with respect and give them time to take care of themselves while still maintaining good customer service.
Get Insurance to Protect Your Assets
Whether it’s human resources, cargo or your fleet, insurance can give you financial peace of mind for the dangers of trucking. Contact our office for more information about trucking insurance that takes care of drivers who get injured on the job or trucks that get damaged on the road.