Injuries on the rise for inexperienced truckers

Injuries on the rise for inexperienced truckers

clash truck and carAccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, private-sector tractor-trailer and heavy truck drivers are missing work due to injury and illness at a steadily rising rate. This change is emphasized even more when compared to all other industry sectors, which are currently on the decline.

Many carriers and their insurance companies believe the increased injury rate is caused by the large number of new truckers who have taken to the roadways.  A transportation attorney in Illinois understands that in many cases, inexperience can be as dangerous and costly as negligence.

Changing demographics

New drivers account for a large portion of injured truckers. With the recent driver shortage, carriers have been forced to stay competitive by raising wages. This has attracted an influx of new drivers without the experience they often need in order to stay safe.

While a transportation attorney in Illinois knows that accidents are bound to occur, the BLS data indicates that it is not roadway accidents that are making up the bulk of the increased injuries. Instead, they found that truckers are more likely to fall, trip and slip than most of the other professions within the private sector. The drivers can easily slip on ice, fall into holes, or trip as they exit their rigs. Any environmental condition can contribute to injury among truckers. New drivers may be especially susceptible to these conditions.

Physical demands

Business Insurance reports that a large contributing factor to the rising injury rates for truckers lies in the physically demanding nature of the job. Truckers must sit for hours while driving and then perform strenuous activities while unloading their haul. Unfamiliar surroundings may place drivers at an additional disadvantage, because they do not have control over their environment nor do they know what to expect in certain situations. This is particularly true of new drivers who are unused to the change in pace and know little about the areas in which they travel.

Preventing accidents

Business Insurance further reports that there are steps carriers can take in order to keep their workers safe. Increasing safety training for new drivers is essential. Training should also be offered quarterly to ensure that drivers do not pick up potentially dangerous habits.  Additionally, trucking companies should evaluate their internal policies to ensure that they are not structured in a way which would entice drivers to do potentially dangerous things like speed, rush or sleep less than required by law.

Carrier companies that require assistance with the legal side of managing a fleet should contact a transportation attorney in Illinois for guidance and counsel.

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