Common Injuries for Truck Drivers and Workers’ Compensation
With 895,670 people employed as heavy truck drivers across the US as of 2019 and the recent boom in shipping needs stemming from the pandemic, it is important to know about different occupational injuries faced by drivers. Truckers experience a high number of workers’ compensation injuries because of their long hours, lack of sleep, the sedentary nature of their work, and poor diets. Additionally, the profession entails tasks, such as lifting heavy objects at drop-off points, which can lead to mishaps that keep drivers off the road.
The following post outlines four common injuries faced by truck drivers, ways to prevent them, and how a workers' compensation attorney could help after serious accidents occur.
Common Injuries Experienced by Truck Drivers
1) Strains and Sprains
Stemming from being sedentary over long periods, lifting heavy loads, and poor diet choices, truck drivers' bodies may lose muscle and become more prone to sprains and strains.
2) Repetitive Injuries: Carpal Tunnel, Tendinitis, and Tennis Elbow
These injuries can occur as a result of drivers needing to keep their hands or arms in the same position for long periods and vibrations from the vehicle and road.
3) Slips and Falls
Drivers face hazardous conditions climbing in and out of their truck cabs, especially when the weather gets bad. Additionally, they can slip and fall while loading or unloading their cargo.
4) Accidents: Single or Multiple Vehicle
Given the nature of their work, truck drivers are often surrounded by other objects and drivers that could become sources of accidents. This reality resulted in a total of 344,000 non-fatal crashes involving trucks with 22 percent of all injury crashes occurring at night (6:00 pm to 6:00 am), according to 2017 data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Furthermore, these accidents often stem from two main factors: "Speeding of Any Kind" was the most frequent driver-related factor; "Distraction/Inattention" was the second most common for large truck drivers.
Tips for Preventing These Occupational Injuries
- Develop and maintain a stretching routine while on the road
- Opt for a high protein, low carb diet that helps maintain your muscles
- Minimize distractions, such as loud audio and phone use, while driving
- Lift heavy objects the right way: lower yourself down and lift with your legs, not your back
- Pull over when fatigue is setting in and rest
How We Can Help
Working with an experienced workers compensation law office like Shultz Legal can help ensure you or a loved one get a just outcome where medical expenses and employer-provided benefits are protected. Get in touch via a phone call or use our contact form.