Truck driving is one of the most dangerous occupations in the world. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, truck driver deaths represent 2.4% of all traffic fatalities. Truck drivers are 233% more likely to experience non-fatal injuries than other professions, and in 2018 alone 840 truckers died in the United States.
The dangers truckers face on the road is just part of the risk that comes with being a professional truck driver. The average life expectancy for American men is 78. The average life expectancy for American truck drivers is 61. This job can come at a price of shaving 17 years off your life.
Stress and Lifestyle Factors Truckers Face
Being a trucker can mean making a good living, and many truckers enjoy life on the road. It can also be an extremely stressful career with long hours, plenty of stress, and a salary that does not increase with the level of risk. Some trucking companies create conditions that force workers to take dangerous risks if they want to make money.
To cope with the stress of being on the road, often in unsafe conditions, many truck drivers develop unhealthy coping mechanisms. Truck drivers have high rates of substance abuse, and this can lead to an early death and deadly accidents. These pressures are the reason the American Trucking Association reported a 90% turnover in the industry.
Truckers can also have stressful relationships and family lives. They aren’t able to be with their loved ones for long stretches of time, and they may be in different time zones or in areas that don’t have cell reception. They may also miss important milestones in their childrens’ lives because they are gone for weeks at a time.
The 3 Major Types of Stress Truck Drivers Face
Aside from the ever-present risk of danger, there are three other main stressors truckers face. The following are three of the most common complaints truck drivers have about their work and their lifestyles.
A Lack of Respect From Others
Being a truck driver can be a thankless job, leaving many truckers feeling like the difficulty of their job isn’t being appreciated by anyone from their employers to the other drivers on the road. They may also experience trust issues at home due to the long stretches of time they are apart from their partners.
Loneliness and Isolation
Being on the road can be a lonely experience, leaving many truck drivers feeling isolated. Without any loved ones around to keep them company, many truckers stop caring about their health. They may also not be able to find health care they can afford when they need it.
The Pressure of Regulations
Truck drivers must follow many strict regulations or risk their own safety to break those regulations. They are under constant pressure to conform to the regulations even if they haven’t been given adequate time or opportunity to do so. The regulations can also make truck drivers feel like they are being controlled.
The Importance of Safe Driving
Large trucks cause fewer accidents, but when those accidents do happen they are more likely to involve serious injury. These accidents can be deadly for truck drivers and for other drivers on the road. Many accidents could be prevented if truckers followed safety standards and demanded those standards from their companies.
If you don’t follow safe driving practices, you could end up involved in a lawsuit. If you’re a truck driver and you’ve been involved in a wreck, you may want to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, the trucking company, or another entity. You can contact Bader Scott Injury Lawyers for more information about the process of filing a claim.
When you’re responsible for a vehicle of this size, the importance of safe driving cannot be overstated. Approximately 31% of all crashes involve at least one large vehicle. By maintaining a proper stopping distance, only driving while sober and alert, and following the laws and speed limits, truck drivers can personally contribute to a lowered rate of accidents.