Trucking has a long reputation for being one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. Now, a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics has revealed that this reputation isn’t going to change yet. Each year, the BLS releases this report to help Americans understand the most dangerous jobs and aspects of working in the United States. The bureau hopes that this information will help keep workers safe through safety awareness.
What the Report Found
The report examines every fatal work injury reported in the United States in 2018. In total, 5,250 work accidents happened throughout the year. This represents a two-percent increase from the 5,147 fatal work injuries reported in 2017. Notably, commercial drivers sustained the most fatal injuries for the year. Of all fatalities, drivers accounted for 966 of them and heavy and tractor-trailer drivers were 831 of the deaths. This means that commercial drivers account for about 18 percent of all fatal work injuries throughout the United States.
Truck drivers also topped the list for independent worker deaths at 96. While truckers had the most work-related deaths in 2018, they did not die at the highest rate. Fishers, logging workers, aircraft pilot, flight engineers, and roofers experienced the most deaths per 100,000 workers. However, transportation accidents still accounted for 40 percent of all work fatalities in the nation.
The Industry’s Response
In a comment to FOX Business, industry experts assert that trucking companies are improving safety with better training programs. Technology such as automated braking systems are helping to prevent accidents. Additionally, new drivers now have resources such as CDL simulators to help train them.
However, John Wilbur, CEO of a transportation company based out of Arizona confirmed the dangers of truck driving to FOX Business. Since truck drivers control up to 80,000 pounds of vehicle and load at once, they inherently turn minor accidents into severe ones.
"Driving is one of the most difficult professional blue-collar jobs in America," Wilbur commented. "It's a fact, it's a dangerous job."