10 Risks to Be Aware of When Working as a Truck Driver

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Truck driving is among the most dangerous jobs worldwide, but this statistic is perhaps not a shock to most people in this industry. Besides driving accidents, truck drivers are at high risk of ergonomic and equipment-related injuries. The sedentary lifestyle of truck drivers and long hours on the road put them at an increased risk of countless injuries and lifestyle-related diseases.

Hispanic Truck Driver (40s) Standing In Front Of Semi Truck With Clipboard.

However, identifying these risks and lessening them can keep truck drivers safe. If you are working as a truck driver, here are the top 10 risks you need to know.

Driving Accidents

According to PolicyAdvice, 74% of fatal passenger vehicle accidents comprise a heavy truck. Most of these accidents happen during the day, and they cause injuries to roughly 130,000 people. These statistics show that road users are at risk if truck companies and drivers fail to address truckers’ safety concerns.

The first step toward curbing these accidents involves training drivers in defensive driving techniques. These techniques should incorporate preventing distractions, maintaining a secure speed, being aware of the surroundings, maintaining a safe following distance, responding to weather conditions, and preparing for emergencies.

Road Conditions

High speed and bad weather conditions, such as ice or snow that affects vehicle control and fog or rain that lowers visibility, cause several truck crashes. Driving improperly on built-up areas and narrow roads may also cause crashes and prospective lawsuits.

If you are in West Virginia and get into an accident where you need compensation, you should consider engaging the services of a top West Virginia trucking accident lawyer. The demand to deliver products timely has regularly caused crashes as truckers attempt to press forward by speeding.

Fatigue and Distractions

Most truck drivers cite distractions and tiredness as the leading causes of accidents. Truck crashes have significantly reduced due to the introduction of driving hours’ limitations, training on dealing with risks, and electronic meters in cabs.

As a truck driver, you need to consider several aspects. For example, you need to take a coffee/snack break and rest to refocus during long trips.

Truck equipment faults can also put drivers at risk for injuries. Trucking equipment with a high chance of failing includes tires, brakes, the underride bar, steering, and suspension. The best way of mitigating equipment failure is to give trucks preventative maintenance and encourage drivers to report vehicle problems immediately.

Ergonomic Risks

Long-haul driving incorporates the possibility of neck pain, lower back issues, soreness, and leg cramps due to sitting in an uncomfortable seat for an extended period. Staring on the road, mainly during the hot summer, may damage your eyes, while traveling over rough terrains may damage the spine.

Luckily, truck manufacturers are considering these factors. As a result, they design comfortable trucks with essential windscreen materials to protect your eyes against harmful sun glare.

Insufficient Training and Practice

The new standards introduced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have heightened the guidelines over the last few years on training and certification. All training schools should get higher certifications. The objective is to eliminate the risks caused by ill-prepared and poorly trained drivers.

Injuries

The physical injuries in trucking include those incurred in operation and maintenance of heavy or awkward equipment. Strains and slips or bone fractures can lead to loss of workdays or long-term disabling problems. For instance, climbing onto the top of the truck to load or perform maintenances is a risky action.

Back problems are common concerns caused by opening weighty doors and lifting loads. Training in using cargo-moving equipment and lifting techniques can help lessen these problems.

Other Road Users

Some truck drivers allege that other drivers are usually the cause of some trucking crashes. A truck’s weight and size mean that the involvement in accidents is prospectively extremely risky. The crucial factor in preventing these risks is to be sharply aware of the driver’s potential mistakes.

Biological and Chemical Risks

The dangers for truck drivers transporting hazardous goods include suffering chemical burns and inhaling toxic fumes. The risk can progress to other road users because of potential leakages following an accident. 

The transportation of potentially hazardous material necessitates protective equipment to avoid any contamination. Good truck maintenance, ventilation, and rest/breaks can help lower this risk.

Individual Safety Problems

The trucking companies are aware of these potential dangers, and they are introducing a couple of in-truck security systems to safeguard drivers. If possible, truckers should avoid stopping in dark or secluded spots.

What Truck Drivers Need to Do to Lower Risks on the Road

Although truck driving is a dangerous business, there is a lot that drivers and truck companies can do to mitigate and eradicate the dangers. Watching out for the common risks is one of the best ways to ensure the roads are safe for driving.

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