Truck drivers face numerous risks driving large and heavy vehicles thousands of miles over long distances. As one of the nation’s top ten most dangerous occupations, truck driving is responsible for a significant percentage of work-related fatal and non-fatal injuries annually.
These are among the most common ways Illinois truck drivers sustain injuries while performing their jobs locally or across state lines.
Operating a large truck requires skills and experience a driver must rely upon to navigate highways other trucks and passenger vehicles share. Road accidents can occur due to:
- Lack of appropriate expertise and training to maneuver a truck
- Trucks having defective parts that do not operate correctly
- Mistakes from fatigue due to long hours
- Errors and poor decisions by other drivers on the road
Regardless of the cause of an accident, truck drivers can experience fatal and debilitating injuries involving the head, spine, neck, organs and limbs.
The role of a truck driver extends to other activities, including loading and unloading heavy or dangerous cargo and operating heavy equipment like forklifts and cranes. Accidents involving non-driving activities frequently result from inadequate training and adherence to appropriate safety measures. Most non-driving injuries involve crushing of limbs, lacerations, burns and falls.
Excessive or infrequent movement
Truck drivers can also sustain injuries resulting from excessive movements or long periods of sitting while driving. For example, a driver who regularly lifts heavy loads can develop overuse injuries such as tendinitis and back or neck strains. Also, drivers who sit for long periods while traveling may experience obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease that accompanies inactivity.
Truck drivers face a higher risk of work-related injuries than many other workers. However, obtaining damages for injuries often involves a complex process of proving liability.