Trucking is considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. In fact, safety experts agree that work injuries in Homestead and other communities are disproportionately likely to affect truck drivers when compared with others workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, truck drivers had the eighth most dangerous job as of 2010, with 682 fatalities in the industry that year.
There are many things that make truck driving such a dangerous occupation:
1) Truck accidents. Not surprisingly, one of the leading cause of fatalities in the industry is related to traffic accidents. Even though truck drivers are carefully trained and tested to minimize their risk of accidents, truck accidents in Homestead and other communities still occur. In some cases, these collisions are caused by truck driver error and in some cases they are caused by passenger car drivers or other causes.
2) Thin profit margins. Truck drivers earn about $37,930, on average, and as a result some feel pressure to take on longer hours or longer routes in order to earn more. At the same time, within the industry profit margins are not large, due in part to high overhead and the rising cost of fuel. This means that motor carriers and others in the industry sometimes have financial incentive to cut costs. In some situations, this leads to dangerous situations. For example, if motor carriers try to cut costs by hiring inexperienced drivers, truck and car accidents in Homestead and other communities can be the result. Cutting costs on fleet maintenance can lead to tire blowouts in Homestead and other cities.
3) Difficult hours. Overexertion leads to about 23% of nonfatal injuries in the industry. Long hours and shift work can mean that fatigue plays a role in some truck crashes. Even though federal rules dictate how long truck drivers can be on the road before they must rest, in some cases shift work leads to sleepiness, even when drivers take the required number of rest breaks. In other cases, truck drivers are pressured to take on unsafely long hours in order to make tight deadlines.
4) The size and weight of commercial trucks. Commercial trucks weigh up to 40 tons and travel quickly on highways and roads. In a collision, the size and force of a truck is enough to cause serious injury and fatalities. The size and weight of trucks routinely leads to fatalities, head injuries, spinal cord injuries, fractures, amputations, and other serious and permanent injuries.
5) Health issues. The shift work required of truck drivers, coupled with the sedentary nature of truck driving, can lead to a host of health problems, including obesity, sleep apnea, cardiac issues, and other health problems. On the road, these illnesses can lead to medical emergencies that could cause a truck to careen out of control.
Big rig and tractor trailer accidents occur on our highways and roads each year. Have you been injured in this type of traffic crash? Contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation to discuss your legal options with a personal injury attorney.