Trucker fatality rates on the job averaged around 852 deaths a year. Although the census shows a 5% decrease in fatalities, it is still ranked among one of the most deadliest jobs in the country.
Most people think that being a truck driver is easy; you get to travel the country, see new sites and not have to deal with the daily 9 to 5 grind. However, most people don't realize that drivers face adversities and dangers all day long and do so while barreling down the road in a 80,000 pound hauling machine.
Hazardous road conditions are considered the greatest factors to the dangers of the occupation. Drivers keep rolling whether it's in bad weather, through busy highways or travelling down some undesirable and treacherous roads. Surprisingly studies have found that fatalities are lower during winter months even with the snow and ice on the roads. The highest number occurs during summer months when more people are travelling the highways. Unpredictable drivers, speeding and drivers not paying attention to the roads are the main problem. The public needs to learn how to share the roads with trucks and talks of states and provinces educating drivers as part of the general driver training are being discussed.
Driver fatigue and safety is another contributor of truck driving being dangerous. Regulations are put into place for drivers however they do not seem to promote restful sleep. Drivers have to deal with constant changing sleep patterns which can throw off the bodies internal clock and increase fatigue.
Also, drivers are faced with difficulties in finding rest areas as some only allow them to stop for a few hours and several designated rest areas are filled with trucks leaving drivers to park in undesirable locations. There is a high demand for larger rest areas and for shippers and receivers to allow for the drivers to park at their locations as this would help alleviate some of the dangers of fatigue. Also, there is a need for safer rest areas as there is a reported increase in crime and illicit activities at truck rest stops. With a constant worry for ones safety it can prove to be difficult to get the rest that a driver needs to continue on their journey.
The trucking industry truly is the lifeblood of our society, they transport all of our consumer goods, medical supplies, gasoline and every commodity that we consume on a daily basis. Without those drivers our world as we know it would change for the worse, so it's important that we take care of our unsung road heroes. Changes in laws and accommodating the demands of making life on the road safer are important so that we have new generations of drivers step up to the plate and take on this dangerous job and also protect the drivers we have out there now everyday risking their lives. As the general public we can also help by sharing the roads and being more mindful when we are on the highways. Would you want someone coming into your workplace and endangering your life? No! So why would you do it to someone else just because their work place is the road!
About Keystone Western
Founded in 1990, Keystone Western provides asset – based logistics solutions for TL and LTL dry van and open deck shippers throughout North America. They also provide warehousing, regional cartage, intermodal services, logistics analysis and 3PL services. Their success has been built on reliable and cost-effective solutions for their customers. To learn more visit: www.keystonewestern.com