Spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury are among the many catastrophic injuries for which American truck drivers are at risk. According to a post by Dr. Michael Choo of Paradigm Outcomes, factors such as fatigue, long hours, highway conditions and difficult-to-maneuver vehicles contribute to truck drivers being at great risk of catastrophic injury on the job.
Paradigm reports that such life-altering injuries put truck drivers at greater risk of “major disruptions to income and well-being” than other occupations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), more than 2 million Americans are employed as truck drivers with more than half of that population driving “heavy” vehicles like tractor-trailers.
There are approximately 500,000 truck accidents in the U.S. each year, yielding 10,280 fatalities and more than 752,800 injuries in 2010 alone, BTS reports. Trucking companies play a large role in the safety of their drivers, as violations of Hours-of-Service rules and expectations that drivers exceed legal weekly maximum distances lead to decreased attentiveness and heightened rates of fatigue, two major factors in accidents, catastrophic injuries and fatalities.
The American Trucking Association urges truck drivers to know their rights as employees. If you or a loved one is dealing with a catastrophic injury sustained while working, please contact Johnson & Groninger for a consultation.