Time magazine once named truck driving as one of the 10 most dangerous occupations. While driving a large vehicle many miles through potentially harsh weather conditions presents a challenge, the stresses come from the hours drivers are expected to work and associated health conditions.

Hours on the Road

blog-truckFederal regulations specify how many hours truckers can work, but because of delivery times, drivers and their companies or contractors often don’t follow them. In fact, according to an article in Gizmodo, many drivers are expected to go straight for 14 hours.

Along with this practice, most will not take more than one day off per week. As a result, a typical trucker may drive up to 4,400 hours per year.

Accidents and Deaths

According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, large trucks were responsible for 100,000 injuries and 300,000 accidents in 2012. Contributing to these figures are several vehicle-specific hazards:

  • Weight: Semi tractor trailers weight up to 80,000 pounds.
  • Design: Vehicles have long blind spots on the side and require extra space to make turns.
  • Size: Because of their length and weight, trucks take longer to stop and need a greater distance to break. For this reason, cars should never cut in front of an 18 wheeler.

Along with these statistics, fatalities resulting from truck accidents account for 12-percent of all work-related deaths in the U.S.

Health Risks

According to a report published by CDC Vital Signs, truck driving comes with multiple health risks and long-term consequences that may jeopardize the worker’s career.

Data from a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health survey indicates that 69 percent of all truck drivers are obese, compared to one-third of all working adults. This condition may cause the driver to develop Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, heart disease, cancer, joint and back pain, and a stroke. When NIOSH surveyed nearly 1,700 drivers, they discovered 14 percent have diabetes – double the general population’s average – and 24 percent have taken medication for high cholesterol.

Yet, because of federal laws, drivers may lose their license for becoming diabetic. An exemption exists if the driver lives with insulin-treated diabetes.

As truck driving comes with multiple risks, those on the road must take precautions to prevent an accident from occurring. If you were involved in a collision and now are fighting an insurance claim, Trantolo & Trantolo is here to help. To bring your case to our attention, contact any of our Connecticut locations today.