If you are a truck driver, it is no surprise to you that there is a shortage of your kind on the roads of America. Driving thousands of lonely miles along monotonous highways, always feeling the pressure of timing, physically deprived through a poor diet and lack of sleep… it’s certainly not an occupation for the faint of heart. As someone in the industry, you are well aware of what your job is doing to your body. You travel miles, but never get to exercise. You see many sights, but your body feels the toll. Along with rising consumer prices, the shortage of truck drivers at the moment is one of the underlying reasons behind the current disruption of the supply chain. The truth is, the highways are the veins of the whole economic system and you, the delivery drivers and truckers, are the blood cells, transporting everything the country needs to keep surviving. Truck transport is seen to be on of the best ways to transport goods across the Untied States. A staggering 70 per cent of all products reach their destination after a trip in some kind of truck, and many people consider truck driver to be their main source of income.
Besides the build up of health problems, there is of course the more imminent risk of harm or injury while on the road. As a truck driver you have a great measure of responsibility due to the sheer damage that the vehicle you drive can cause. The industry as a result has gained a reputation of notoriety over the years as careless drivers caused boundless accidents. In fact, it is predicted that by the year 2030 it will be the fifth biggest reason for death in the United States. Hopefully with a consideration of the dangers, improvements can be made to make the industry a safer one for those who rely on it.
Staggering Facts About the Dangers of Truck Driving
The numbers surrounding the dangers of truck driving show that there are clearly changes that need to be to protect drivers. Consider just a few of the figures:
- Around 130,000 people suffer from injuries caused in truck accidents. These injuries range from broken bones and whiplash to head trauma, internal bleeding, or even spinal cord damage. These injuries require immediate medical hep and often continually medical assistance which all adds up in cost.
- Of the truck drivers killed in accidents in 2018, 97 per cent were men. It’s mostly male drivers that lose their lives in truck accidents – perhaps due to the fact that only 5.8 per cent of US truck drivers are women in the first place. The causes of truck accidents vary, but often it’s due to the inexperience of the driver or the fact they are sleepy and not well rested. Trucks are not simple vehicles to operate, therefore it is essential that drivers are well trained and well rested.
- Truck driver regulations, administered by the FMCSA, have been enforced to reduce accidents. Thankfully, there are legal steps being taken to protect truck drivers in their occupation. The FMCSA, or Federal Noto Carrier Safety Administration, are one of the governing bodies that are attempting to regulate working conditions for truck drivers with the goal to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities. Drivers can only spend 14 hours at the wheel and need to be allowed rests during that drive if it has been less that 8 hours since their previous haul.
- There are also regulations being recommended by the NHTSA. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is also taking legal action to protect truck drivers. They classify any vehicles that is heavier than 10,000 pounds, including 15 seat vans, to be counted as a large truck. This means that drivers of these vehicles need to be highly experienced due to the responsibility they need to keep cargo, and passengers safe. This clarification is helping to eliminate some potential risks.
The Legal Help Available for Truck Drivers
While various legal action is being taken to make working conditions of truck drivers safer, in some situation’s serious accidents still sadly happen. They may happen because the individual was not adequately trained, or they were pushed past their limits and fell under the influence of exhaustion or fatigue. Vehicles can also play a part if they are properly maintained, or a mechanical fault occurs. Under these conditions, practical and helpful truck turns into a deadly weapon. What help is available for truck drivers that have been in accidents? Fortunately, they can get the help they need from reputable truck accident lawyers that specialise in these specific situations. It may feel daunting when it comes to tackling the incident from a legal perspective, but the right expert can help you through every step of the way.
A big part of the investigation lies in establishing who is responsible for the accident. If the driver blatantly ignored laws while doing their job, the responsibility lies with them. Alternatively, if the trucking company pushed their drivers or told them to ignore laws and rules about rest breaks and maintenance, the liability is on them. If it was the truck itself that experienced a flaw the blame lies with them, or it may even be the responsibility of the shipping company if they improperly loaded the vehicle.
Get the Expert Support You Deserve
By just considering a few of the factors involved, it’s clear to see why it’s good to get the help, guidance, and expertise of professional in the field. They have a great deal of experience to draw on to support one who has been involved in a trucking accident, or even families that have lost loves in such an incident. If you have been neglected by your employer or your case disregarded by the ones who should be responsible, you can turn for support from a legal expert that can help you to get the monetary damages recovered through a settlement.
We hope you found this blog post on The Dangers Truck Drivers Face and the Legal Protection Available useful. Be sure to check out our post on Things Truck Drivers Need in their Routes for more great tips!
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