Trucking is tough and truck drivers face a number of occupational hazards. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), nearly half a million large truck accidents occur each year, and many of these crashes result in fatalities on the road. Though non-truck vehicle occupants constitute the majority of fatalities, about a quarter of those killed in large truck crashes are truckers themselves.
In some instances, truckers who survive crashes may get lucky and remain free from major injuries; however, this is often not the case. Common crash-related injuries include the following:
- Musculoskeletal injuries. Collisions can cause fractured bones, muscle strains, sprains and joint issues. These may be short- or long-term depending on the injury.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI). Intense body jolts and blows to the head are common in truck accidents and can result in TBI; symptoms vary, and damage may be temporary or permanent.
- Cuts, bruising and lacerations. External damage of this kind can be painful and may require extensive medical treatment and surgery.
- General soreness and chronic pain. Each injury is unique and some crash victims may suffer chronic pain following an accident.
Beyond risks associated with on-the-road crashes, truckers face a range of other job-related dangers. Whether you operate a semi, big rig tractor trailer or some other form of large truck, you may experience any of the following:
- Exhaustion and overexertion. Unfortunately, some truckers are forced to work unreasonable hours and may suffer from fatigue-related injuries.
- Suffering blows from moving or falling objects. Truckers may be required to perform load and unload duties, and these duties can result in serious injuries from impact with large, heavy or otherwise hazardous objects.
- Sprains, strains and falls. Truckers drive in all kinds of weather conditions and some may experience injury as the result of difficulty getting into and out of their trucks; repetitive use injuries can also occur given the physical demands of truck driving.
In far too many cases, truckers’ employers fail to reduce job-related risks; if you’re a trucker and you’ve been injured on the job, know that you are not alone. An experienced attorney can provide support for you and help you seek the workers’ compensation that you deserve.