Working as a commercial driver can be a dream occupation for some people. Those with a good driving record can command competitive wages. You can work basically alone, without constant direct supervision and often without much customer or client interaction.
The job at least on the surface might seem safer than other high-paying blue-collar professions like manufacturing or construction. However, a closer look at the reality of commercial driving makes it clear that there is plenty of risks.
Truck drivers are much more likely than the average person to get hurt on the job or die. They may need workers’ compensation benefits when medical conditions caused by their job responsibilities leave them unable to keep driving.
Obviously, crashes are a risk
Motor vehicle collisions are a major concern for those who drive for a living. Truck drivers have more than seven times the average worker’s risk of dying on the job. They are also roughly three times as likely as the average worker to get hurt and need time off of work.
It is worth noting that a breakdown of nonfatal injuries shows that crashes only cause a fraction of the reported injuries. Transportation incidents accounted for 13% – 14% of reported injuries, meaning most truckers and delivery drivers got hurt in other ways.
Truckers often push their bodies too far
Bodily reaction or overexertion was responsible for roughly 41% of all non-fatal injuries among delivery drivers and 35% among those driving semi-trucks. Many of these incidents have to do with physically lifting objects, although lowering them was also a reported risk factor.
Falling or contacting objects can also cause lost time
Slipping and falling caused 30% of the reported injuries suffered by commercial truck drivers and 23% of delivery driver injuries. Contact with other objects or equipment was also a concern, causing 19% of delivery driver injuries and 17% of the injuries reported by truckers.