Is Being a Truck Driver Dangerous?

Friday, October 6, 2023

Is Being a Truck Driver Dangerous?

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

Truck driving ranks seventh on the list of the top twenty-five most dangerous occupations, carrying a fatality rate of 28.8 deaths per 100,000 drivers in 2021.

The dangers of truck driving go well beyond driving hazards. With long hours dedicated to being on the road, truck drivers are apt to experience a deterioration in their physical and mental health.

If you have been injured in a truck accident, Malman Law is here to help. Our legal team understands the dangers that truck drivers face on a daily basis.

Health Concerns

Physical Health

Not surprisingly, injuries and deaths in the trucking industry are higher than the average rate for private industry jobs, and health issues can often lead to truck accidents.

Being sedentary for long periods of time can create a myriad of health problems. For starters, a truck driver is less likely to be physically active than other U.S. workers. Due to a lack of physical activity, truck drivers are twice as likely to be obese than other workers. Obesity puts truck drivers at risk for other health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and sleep apnea.

With such demanding hours, many drivers easily become fatigued. Instead of getting adequate rest, countless truck drivers resort to smoking to stay awake. Since cigarettes have nicotine, this stimulant can combat exhaustion and keep a driver alert behind the wheel.

Nonetheless, smoking increases your risk of:

  • Cancer
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Emphysema
  • Stroke
  • Peripheral vascular disease (damaged blood vessels)

There are other ways that a truck driver can stay alert, and that begins with taking control of your health. This can be done by eating smaller meals throughout the day to avoid low blood sugar levels, drinking plenty of water, and getting at least eight hours of sleep each night.

Mental Health

Being a truck driver is associated with high levels of stress. A truck driver must deal with hours of being on the road with no breaks, requiring them to stay alert for long periods of time. Truck drivers have to deal with traffic, inclement weather, and poorly maintained roads, all while trying to deliver goods on schedule.

The general public underestimates the psychological effects that a truck driver experiences when spending so much time away from family and friends.

Truck drivers may experience any of the following conditions:

  • Exhaustion
  • Sleep disorders
  • Depression
  • Social isolation
  • Burnout

Dangers to Other Road Users

Truck drivers who do not tend to their health pose a risk to other road users. If a truck driver falls asleep at the wheel, there is a likely chance that other motorists will be killed.

Truck drivers as a group are susceptible to drug and/or alcohol use to combat loneliness.

Recreational drugs are never the answer, and alcohol will only cause a truck driver to be more tired. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 45% of commercial truck accidents involve an impaired truck driver.

A truck driver must take responsibility for their health or be forced to live with devastating consequences that come with bad choices.

Read on: Illinois Trucking Laws and Regulations

Contact a Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer

The working conditions of a truck driver can force drivers to make poor decisions regarding their health. Besides the inherent danger of being a truck driver, the ways a truck driver attempts to deal with such a demanding job also puts others in harm’s way. If you are a truck driver who has been in an accident, request an appointment online with Malman Law today.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by President and Founder, Steven J. Malman who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

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